Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), the title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world – will expand to four cars in 2014.
Kurt Busch, the 2004 Sprint Cup champion and owner of 24 Sprint Cup victories, will drive the Haas Automation Chevrolet SS fulltime alongside Stewart in the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, Danica Patrick in the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet and Kevin Harvick in the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet beginning in 2014. It’s a lineup that features four Sprint Cup championships, 36 poles and 93 wins.
“Stewart-Haas Racing has proven itself to be a very competitive race team. Every team wants to win, but the preparation and resources Gene Haas and Tony Stewart and everyone at SHR put into their racecars each and every week is incredible,” Busch said. “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. I didn’t think anyone wanted to win as much as me until I met Gene Haas.”
“Kurt Busch is a premier talent, one who gives you the opportunity to win races every week and contend for a championship every year,” Haas said. “When he became available, we seized the opportunity to make him a part of Stewart-Haas Racing. This is an organization built on winning, and Haas Automation is a company built on performance. Kurt embodies each of those qualities, and it’s why we’re investing in his abilities.”
Busch’s Sprint Cup title came in the inaugural Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Busch is also the 2003 champion of the International Race of Champions (IROC), a series which pitted the best drivers from NASCAR, the IZOD IndyCar Series and the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series.
“I’ve had a tremendous amount of respect for Kurt’s talent and determination for as long as he’s been racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Kurt is extremely knowledgeable, and his input will make all of Stewart-Haas Racing better,” said Stewart, still recovering from a broken right tibia and fibula suffered in a sprint car crash Aug. 5 at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
“When Gene Haas laid out his plans for what he wanted to do in regard to this race team’s future, which included bringing Kurt on board in a fourth car, it was impressive. You can’t stand still in this business. You have to constantly improve. Gene’s investment in this race team ensures the success of Stewart-Haas Racing for many years to come.”
Work has already begun on the physical expansion of SHR. Land adjacent to the team’s existing 140,000-square foot facility is being cleared for construction of a building that will house research and development, a state-of-the-art pit fitness and training center, and multipurpose space for SHR partners.