Inside Motorsports

Inside Motorsports: Kurt Busch could find home with Stewart-Haas

August 21, 2013 

  • Next Race Irwin Night Race Where: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday TV: ABC Radio: Performance Racing Network Last year’s winner: Denny Hamlin

It’s becoming increasingly likely that former Cup series champion Kurt Busch will join Stewart-Haas Racing next season as a teammate to co-owner Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Danica Patrick.

Based on Busch’s talent, the move could be a very profitable one for SHR.

It would have to be to take some of the sting out of the cost of funding a fourth Cup team out of co-owner Gene Haas’ pocket, as reports suggest.

With Busch, however, that certainly is possible.

There never has been any question Busch was one of most talented drivers in NASCAR. He has won on all levels in NASCAR’s national series since his debut with what then was Roush Racing in the Truck Series in 2000. Since then, he has amassed four Truck wins, five in what is the Nationwide Series and 24 in Cup.

The problems that have plagued Busch during recent seasons had to do with his frustration at his performance.

This season, Busch as flourished with Furniture Row Racing, a single-car operation funded by Barney Visser. Absent the need to cater to a litany of corporate sponsors, Busch has been able to focus on track performance.

Much would be the same with the move to SHR. The team, if reports are accurate, would be funded by Haas. Busch again would be able to focus almost entirely on track performance and with a much better organization with more talent and resources.

It might bethe best situation Busch will see again during his NASCAR career.

While many might think Busch would use a good run at SHR to catapult to yet another top-level ride, does he really need to?

Should Busch contend for wins and the championship at SHR – and there is little reason to think he would not be able to – perhaps he will have found his best and last NASCAR home.

Notes

Michael Waltrip racing this weekend: While his Cup teams compete at Bristol (Tenn.), team co-owner Michael Waltrip will be on the other side of the country competing in a NASCAR event.

Waltrip is scheduled to compete in Saturday’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Spokane (Wash.) County Raceway with Bill McAnally Racing.

“I watched the 2011 race from Spokane and the track and fans sure made it look like a great place to race,” Waltrip said. “I have a blast whenever I get to race and that’s a part of the country we don’t get to visit too often.”

Ryan Truex set for Cup debut: Richard Petty Motorsports development driver Ryan Truex, the younger brother of Cup driver Martin Truex Jr., couldmake his Cup series debut Saturday night at Bristol.

Ryan will drive the No.51 entry for Phoenix Racing. Truex signed a multi-year development deal with RPM this year and the team is working to secure sponsorship for him.

“It has been tough waiting on the sidelines while I healed from my collarbone injury, but now I am ready to go,” Ryan said.

Tire changer suspended: NASCAR announced Tuesday it has indefinitely suspended Eric Maycroft, the front tire changer on Cup driver Truex Jr.’s crew, for violation of its substance-abuse policy.

Maycroft, who has been fired from Michael Waltrip Racing, is expected to be replaced by Terry Spalding. Truex Jr.’s No.56 Toyota team remains in contention for a spot in the 12-driver Chase.

Ty Dillon is moving on up: Truck series regular Ty Dillon will run fulltime in the Nationwide Series next season, Richard Childress Racing announced this week.

Dillon will drive the No. 3 Chevrolet for RCR, which currently is driven by his older brother, Austin.

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