Busch meets with owner, keeps ride
Kurt Busch will return to the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet this weekend at Michigan Speedway.
Busch sat out the Pocono 400 last weekend after NASCAR suspended him for an incident in which he berated a reporter at Dover on June 2.
But Busch learned during a meeting Tuesday with team owner James Finch that he will keep his job with Phoenix Racing now that the suspension has been lifted.
Finch, in hopes of keeping what was said in the meeting at the team’s Spartanburg, SC, shop, releases the following statement:
“We have met with Kurt. At the end of the day, we are racers, so we’re going racing together with Kurt and the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet. We know adjustments have to be made, but how we fix that is between Kurt and myself. We’re going to go to the track, work hard, race hard and work on trying to attract a sponsor — and we’re going to do that together.”
Finch had said last week that Phoenix Racing’s partnership with the 2004 Sprint Cup champ would continue on a "week-to-week basis."
The pair made a handshake deal in December and agreed their partnership would focus on putting "fun" back into racing.
But then the No. 51 team got involved in a dustup with Ryan Newman and the No. 39 crew at Darlington in May, and Busch was placed on probation. After the Dover incident, NASCAR suspended Busch for Pocono activties and extended his probation to the end of the season.
Busch, 33, has recorded 24 career Sprint Cup wins. In 13 starts for Finch this season, Busch posted one top 10 — a ninth-place finish at Fontana in March. Behind the wheel of his brother’s car at Kyle Busch Motorsports, he won at Richmond in May.
Finch has dabbled in both the Nationwide and Cup series over the past two decades. He has 12 Nationwide victories and one Cup win with Brad Keselowski at Talladega in 2009. David Reutimann replaced Busch last weekend at Pocono. He finished 21st.