With his breakthrough victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, Kurt Busch has officially punched his ticket into the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs this fall, as the tenured veteran looks to secure his second championship at NASCAR’s top-level, in his final season driving for Chip Ganassi Racing. Now, at least until the playoffs begin in September, the questions for Busch pivot to next season, after an announcement in recent weeks that Chip Ganassi Racing will sell their NASCAR operations to Justin Marks and Trackhouse Racing, after the season concludes in Phoenix.
Having confirmed rumblings that he’d been having initial talks with Trackhouse Racing and 23XI Racing, the eldest Busch brother further explained the options on the table for him next season, in a one-on-one interview with Barstool Racing, some of which would see the 42-year-old stepping away from full-time competition in the NASCAR Cup Series.
— Barstool Racing (@rubbinisracing) July 14, 2021
“I was talking with Justin Marks and Trackhouse and talking with Denny [Hamlin] and [Michael] Jordan about 23XI Racing,” said Busch. “Chevy, Ford, Toyota, doing behind the scenes and not necessarily racing, but doing things with the simulator. Then, the Jeff Gordon announcement, he said ‘Hey, I’m headed back to Hendrick [Motorsports] to run the program’, and there’s a possibility of being a broadcaster with FOX, so I’m exploring that option too.”
When looking at the market of free agents, there is no doubt that Busch’s experience is a valueable asset, as the Las Vegas-native is set to become the 12th driver in history to make 750 NASCAR Cup Series starts when the series heads to his home track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway in September. That amount of experience could be beneficial for young organizations like Trackhouse and 23XI Racing, as they look for veteran leadership to establish themselves as consistent race-winning contenders.
“It’s been pretty wild,” Busch continued. “I’m on a high right now, i’m on a cloud that’s just kind of floating, and we’re going to take it to New Hampshire and try to win this weekend. Then I’ve got two weeks off, where I think I’ll get everything sorted out.”
His recent success, as well as his automatic berth into the post-season this year, is already a major positive for Busch, one that could help him attract additional suitors and offers for next season, with the potential to start a new chapter, as a championship contender for years to come.
“That’s the big thing, my phone keeps ringing, texts keep coming in, it’s a good feeling.”
The remainder of the Barstool Sports interview with Kurt Busch will be released this week, and promptly added to this post when it becomes available.