Kurt Busch wins pole position in New Hampshire
Kurt Busch is set to crank up contract talks with Stewart Haas-Racing.
With his deal expiring at the end of the season, the 2004 NASCAR Cup champion is on the hunt for a new agreement that would keep him in the SHR fold and with Monster Energy again on board as a primary sponsor.
“I don’t know many drivers that have a primary sponsor with them,” Busch said. “Monster Energy has been very loyal to me. That’s what they’ve told me. It’s just a matter of when is the time to start talking contract. Last year, it went long just because I felt I deserved more.”
Busch didn’t sign a contract for this season until last December — though it seemed a formality he would re-sign, his status was in limbo once SHR declined a contract option in August.
The 39-year old Busch is in his fifth full season with SHR and has five of his career 29 wins with the team.
“There’s a lot of things that move, so we’ll see how it all comes together,” Busch said.
Busch has crafted a reputation as one of the best wheelmen in the game, and he added to it Friday when he turned a lap of 133.591 mph in the No. 41 Ford to win the pole for the NASCAR race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Busch, who won his third pole of the season, was the only one of the four SHR drivers to reach the final round of qualifying. He needs the boost from starting out front — Busch hasn’t won a race since the 2017 Daytona 500 and has just three top-five finishes this season.
Busch is far from the only series champion who has failed to win a race this season. Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski are also looking for their first wins (so is Matt Kenseth in limited action) as this season has turned into the year of the Big Three.
Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick have 14 of this season’s 19 victories.