Kurt Busch Strength In Numbers

New is nothing new for 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch. He starts his 14th full season in the Sprint Cup Series paired with new crew chief Daniel Knost (pronounced: Ka-NOST) and driving the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).

New team. New sponsor. New crew chief. New car number.

For the third consecutive season, “new” seems to be the theme for Busch. However, unlike the previous two seasons, Busch won’t be alone. This year, he arrives for Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway with three teammates – three time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Bass Pro Shop/Mobil1 Chevrolet SS, Danica Patrick in the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS, and Kevin Harvick in the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS.

That talented stable of drivers is the reason Busch jumped at the opportunity to join SHR.

Busch started the 2012 Sprint Cup season with Phoenix Racing and 2013 season with Furniture Row Racing – both single-car teams competing against bigger, stronger and faster multicar teams. He met the challenge head-on and in 2013 became the first driver to earn a berth in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup driving for a single-car team.

In joining SHR for 2014, Busch has the added resources of a multi-car team and three teammates who will help in the pursuit of his second Sprint Cup Series championship.

Busch is enthusiastic about the 2014 race season and is often seen around the Kannapolis, N.C.,-based race shop talking with crew chief Knost, his teammates, and even driving the Haas Automation Chevy for his pit crew during pit stop practice.

Haas Automation, which has served as a primary sponsor in the Sprint Cup Series for 10 different drivers and 109 races since 2002, will serve as a full primary sponsor in the Daytona 500 for the first time in the company’s 31-year history. Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in the Western World, is owned by SHR founder and co-owner Gene Haas.

When Busch takes the green flag in his No. 41 Chevrolet for the 56th Daytona 500 on Feb. 23, he will be attempting to bring Haas Automation its first Sprint Cup win as a primary sponsor and his first Sprint Cup win since Oct. 11, 2011 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. And Busch knows his way to victory lane at Daytona International Speedway. He won both the Sprint Unlimited and the first Budweiser Duel in 2011.

While Busch has scored victories in the preliminary races during Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona, and runner-up finishes in 2003, 2005 and 2008, he is still seeking his first Harley J. Earl Trophy, awarded to the winner of the Daytona 500. Busch sees the Daytona 500 as his first opportunity to reward the faith of Haas and Haas Automation for his opportunity to drive the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet.