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Kurt Busch to join Stewart-Haas Racing team

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Monday, Aug. 26, 2013

Kurt Busch has finally found his way back to a permanent home in NASCAR.

On Tuesday afternoon, Stewart-Haas Racing officially will welcome Busch to its 2014 driver lineup in the Sprint Cup Series, where he will join team co-owner Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick and Kevin Harvick.

Busch confirmed the move to several reporters Monday. SHR only released a statement announcing a news conference to address future expansion.

Sources told the Observer and (Raleigh) News & Observer that SHR is attempting to secure No. 00 for Busch’s team. It’s a number that has been used by Haas CNC Racing – the predecessor to SHR.

The move will be the first multiyear deal for Busch, 34, since he was released from Penske Racing at the end of the 2011 season. In the past 11/2 years, Busch has driven in the Nationwide Series for a team owned by his brother, Kyle, and has had stints in the Cup series with Phoenix Racing and this year, Furniture Row Racing.

With two races left before the 12-driver field for the Chase for the Sprint Cup is set, Busch has a chance to compete for the championship, which would be a first for that organization.

“It was always our intention to extend Kurt’s contract with Furniture Row Racing. We made him an offer last week to continue as the driver of the No. 78 in 2014 and beyond,” said Joe Garone, FRR’s general manager.

“Though he did not accept our offer we respect his decision and wish him future success. Right now the main focus for Kurt and the team is to qualify for the Chase and contend for the 2013 Sprint Cup Series championship.”

Childers steps away from No. 55: While Rodney Childers will remain under contract with Michael Waltrip Racing, he will step aside as crew chief of its No. 55 Toyota, effective immediately.

Childers will join SHR next season to serve as Harvick’s crew chief in the No.4 Chevrolet.

Scott Miller, MWR’s vice president of competition, will serve as crew chief for the No.55 and driver Brian Vickers for the rest of the season.

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