In the Fast Lane with Kurt Busch

By all means, Kurt Busch seems ageless behind the wheel of the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevy. (Photo Credit: Sean Folsom/TPF)

By all means, Kurt Busch seems ageless behind the wheel of the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevy. (Photo Credit: Sean Folsom/TPF)

Certainly, Kurt Busch shows no signs of slowing down in his No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet Camaro.  With a victory at Kentucky, six top-fives, and 18-top-10’s in 2019, the Las Vegas, Nev. native seemingly found the fountain of youth.

Moreover, Busch’s strong season and passion for motorsports netted him a multiyear extension with Chip Ganassi Racing.  Of course, the 41-year-old racer expressed excitement with his short-term future.

Busch proves he’s still got it as a driver.  In fact, he brings more than his talents to the table.  All things considered, the 2004 Cup champion brings his expertise and experience to a thriving organization.

By far, Busch delivers with his maturity and savvy as an old school racer with his team.  On that note, the 20-year premier division veteran enjoys working with teammate Kyle Larson.

Ultimately, Busch seeks more race wins and championships as one of the staying powers of NASCAR.  Fittingly, his car owner possesses the same amount of passion and enthusiasm.

Recently, I caught up with Busch following his press conference at Texas Motor Speedway.  To say the least, the future NASCAR Hall of Fame racer expressed appreciation for his team.  By all means, the best is yet to come for Busch and his comrades.  With that, let’s get “In the Fast Lane with Kurt Busch!”

Rob Tiongson :  Congratulations on the extension with Chip Ganassi Racing.  What’s it mean to you to have this all come together knowing you’ve got a home in Cup racing for the next few years?

Without delay, Kurt Busch enjoys racing for the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevy team. (Photo Credit: Sean Folsom/TPF)

Without delay, Kurt Busch enjoys racing for the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevy team. (Photo Credit: Sean Folsom/TPF)

Kurt Busch :  I’ll just sum it up in one quick phrase.  Chip Ganassi gave me an offer that I couldn’t refuse.  And to have everybody that’s a part of Team Ganassi, and the race team, the shop guys, all the over-the-wall guys, everybody that’s at our race shop, they’re like family now.  And I felt like that family should be extended out.

To bring the family of Monster Energy to our race shop and to have the car in that flat back with the Monster claw and the way that the fans love and appreciate that car, it gives me that motivation to continue to keep driving.  It gives me that spark to keep pushing, get more trophies, and have more shots at winning races and championships.

Rob Tiongson :  It’s got to be awesome to be back with Ganassi.  You’ve had a great year with Kyle Larson as your teammate but what have you brought to each other to make this a truly strong season?

Instantly, Kurt Busch's No. 1 Chevy Camaro became a frontrunning fixture in 2019. (Photo Credit: Stephen Conley/TPF)

Instantly, Kurt Busch’s No. 1 Chevy Camaro became a frontrunning fixture in 2019. (Photo Credit: Stephen Conley/TPF)

Kurt Busch :  For me, I look at opportunities everywhere to race cars, to win races…whether it’s reviewing tape, or it’s the chance to work with a legend in the making that I believe Kyle Larson will be, that was part of my decision to come here.

I mean, Chip chose him out of the open wheel ranks from the sprint cars in the dirt tracks to drive here in NASCAR.  And I know that I can add a little bit more of some of the past history that I have with the NASCAR car and the asphalt and the tracks.  That was part of the equation and satisfying to help Larson this year.

Rob Tiongson :  You were once a young gun who matured and went through an evolution which wasn’t easy.  But how have you taken ownership to evolve as a driver?

Kurt Busch :  I think some of the key is not getting complacent.  You have to adjust and adapt to the setups or the cars and the different teams that I’ve been with.  At 22, when I first got my start in NASCAR, a lot of people forget how young I was and from where I came from with basically racing Legend cars one year and then jumping into a NASCAR car the next.

It was a quick rise.  And so, it’s been neat now to have it all come together, and for the sport to slow down, and for me to be able to digest it all, and to understand what it takes to be a winner on and off the track.

Rob Tiongson :  Here’s a question that’s a bit different from what you’ve been fielded.  If you got to be a team owner, which driver would you hire, which would you want to choose as they retire, and which one would you recruit even as they conspire for some with pranks?

Immediately, Kurt Busch mentioned one of NASCAR's legends as a dream teammate. (Photo Credit: Josh Jones/TPF)

Immediately, Kurt Busch mentioned one of NASCAR’s legends as a dream teammate. (Photo Credit: Josh Jones/TPF)

Kurt Busch :  If I were a team owner? Oh, shoot.  I haven’t thought of being a team owner and what it would take to be successful and what person you’d want to plug in.

As a historian, or as a guy that likes to go back, Mario Andretti is the one that you want to start with.  And then, if you need somebody younger, you’re going to go down the list.

If there was an AJ Foyt over there, or if there’s a Richard Petty over there, or there’s a Jeff Gordon, or there’s this new guy coming along when I came along named Jimmie Johnson…you never know who or how they’re going to make it all come together.

And I don’t know how to answer that question because I’m not a team owner just yet. (laughs) Maybe one day, but that’s a tough question!

Editor’s Notes

Special thanks to Kurt as well as Jeff of Chip Ganassi Racing for their kindness and time with this feature!  In addition to TPF, keep up-to-date with Kurt Busch’s racing efforts via FacebookTwitterInstagram, and his official website!

Rob Tiongson

30-something motorsports journalist who enjoys sports like baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field, and hockey. A Boston native turned Austinite, racing was the first sport that caught my eye. From interviews to retrospective articles, if it's about anything with an engine and four wheels, it'll be here on TPF, by me or by one of my talented columnists who absolutely have a passion for racing.

Currently seeking a sports writing, public relations, or sports marketing career, particularly in motorsports. I enjoy editing and writing articles and features, as well as photography.

Graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. Proud to be from Massachusetts, just as happy to be a Texan.

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