December 4, 2018 | By Lee Spencer

Kurt Busch to drive Ganassi No. 1

Photo by PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Kurt Busch will go out as No. 1.

On Tuesday, Chip Ganassi Racing announced Kurt Busch will pilot the No. 1 Chevrolet in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2019.

The season marks the 20th year the 2004 Cup champion has competed on NASCAR’s top tour.

“I am tremendously proud to be joining Chip Ganassi Racing and the prestigious group of alumni,” Busch said. “Along with Monster Energy, winning races and competing at the highest level, it’s what we are all about.

“Ganassi’s forward-thinking approach is why I have decided to commit all my years of Monster Energy Cup experience to CGR. Let’s win, let’s have fun!”

Busch won his first Cup title in 2004 with Roush Fenway Racing, after NASCAR introduced a Playoff format to decide the series champion. He has enjoyed a versatile motorsports career which includes winning the 2017 Daytona 500, the 2010 Coca-Cola 600, the 2010 All-Star Race and the 2003 IROC Championship.

Busch finished sixth in the 2014 Indianapolis 500 and won rookie honors in that race. He has also competed in the Rolex 24 (2005, 2008).

The 40-year-old Las Vegas native finished seventh in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings this season—his last with Stewart-Haas Racing. Busch has amassed 30 wins, 27 poles, 137 top fives and 280 top 10s in his Cup career.

“We have had the good fortune of having a lot of great drivers here at Chip Ganassi Racing across all forms of racing, and Kurt Busch adds to that list of great drivers,” said team owner Chip Ganassi.

“He is a former NASCAR Cup Series champion and Daytona 500 winner and I believe still has a burning desire to win races and compete for a championship. In addition, getting to work with and represent a brand like Monster Energy makes it even that much more exciting.”

Matt McCall will remain as the crew chief of the No. 1 CGR team. The 37-year-old former driver from Denver, N.C., joined Ganassi in 2015.

Busch will team with fellow Ganassi driver Kyle Larson, who will start his sixth season in Cup.

Monster Energy became a co-primary of Busch’s Cup program at Stewart-Haas in 2015. Two years later, the beverage brand took over title sponsorship rights of NASCAR’s top tour.

“Monster is super happy to get onboard with Chip Ganassi Racing and Kurt Busch. Kurt has been a Monster Energy athlete for several years now and we were glad to see him team up with another strong team,” said Mitch Covington, Vice President of Sports Marketing, Monster Beverage Company. “I believe Kurt and the team will win a lot of races and we will have a lot of fun.”

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