The only thing remaining is the official announcement on Tuesday. Kurt Busch will bid adieu to Furniture Row Racing at the end of the year to accept an offer to run a fourth car at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014, NASCAR.com reported today.
Busch has made the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet SS relevant this season despite being an underfunded one-car team. He is 12th in points which under normal circumstances would have him in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, but because he is without a victory Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Newman will bump him out of a Wild Card spot. Nonetheless, the 35 year old has had a terrific year.
"I put ink on the deal," Busch told USA TODAY Sports via text. "This is the kind of situation every driver wants to be in, and I'm grateful to Gene Haas and Haas Automation for providing me this opportunity.
"[Tony] Stewart has been very supportive and we are full steam ahead. With all that said, my focus still remains on the present and trying to achieve our Chase goal on the No. 78."
The six top-five finishes, 14 top-10s, and 368 laps led by Busch this season have surpassed anything Furniture Row owner Barney Visser could have imagined and despite the success, he is in no position keep the Las Vegas native past 2013.
Busch has 24 Sprint Cup victories in his career and no one doubts his talent. It is his volatile nature that has landed him in hot water numerous times including getting fired from Penske Racing. He has worked hard to repair his image and that has gone a long way to landing him back with a multi-car team after toiling for Phoenix Racing and Furniture Row Racing the last two years.
The announcement may have come as a surprise to Ryan Newman who was told he would not be back with Kevin Harvick coming aboard and that SHR was not ready to move to a four-car team. Tony Stewart said at the time that if he did Newman would be his first choice. Newman has yet to land a ride for 2014.
SHR will formally introduce Busch Tuesday in a 2:00 p.m. press conference that will be attended by SHR co-owner Gene Haas and competition director Greg Zipadelli.
The addition of Kurt Busch is not the only news coming out of the Stewart-Haas camp as crew chief Rodney Childers will be moving over from Michael Waltrip Racing to guide the fortunes of SHR newcomer Kevin Harvick.