Kurt Busch 2018 NASCAR contract situation ‘surprised’ Ford – NASCAR

Kurt Busch says Stewart-Haas Racing’s decision not to take up its option on his contract for the 2018 NASCAR Cup season came as a surprise to Ford.

The 2004 champion and this year’s Daytona 500 winner is free to explore opportunities after his current team let its option on his services lapse, although he could still remain the driver of the #41 entry if a new deal is negotiated.

“They chose not to pick up their option, but I see it as good options for me,” said Busch.

“I’m not too worried about it. I feel like there’s more options out there.

“The disruption of them not picking up my option, it gets the crew guys all flustered. Ford is very surprised by it.

“Ford is definitely more on my side than they are with the way that the results came out.”

Busch said the lack of early commitment from his current team was not a worry, and wouldn’t influence his decision on whether to remain with Stewart-Haas for next year if the chance arises.

“I’m looking for the best possible option to race a competitive car that’s got a chance to win races, win poles and compete for a championship,” Busch said.

“There’s different cars that are options for me, and Stewart-Haas is one of them.

“The phone didn’t stop ringing all week, not just because it was my birthday.

“We’ve just got to stay focused, stay sharp. There’s no reason to think that I couldn’t be back here.

“It’s just a matter of making it all work out. I’m not too worried about it.”

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