Kurt Busch made the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in his first season with Chip Ganassi Racing.
The veteran driver took the wheel of CGR’s No. 1 Chevrolet in 2019 and immediately brought success to the team. Busch scored a win at Kentucky Speedway in July to qualify for the playoffs and ended up 13th in the final standings.
Overall, Busch captured six top-five and 18 top-10 finishes.
Busch got by his brother, Kyle, on the final lap in overtime to win the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky. It was the 31st career Cup win.
"That was epic," Busch said of the thrilling battle for the win. "I was hopeful that we would get a shot, just one more restart. We got that yellow and with my little brother, it’s the best guy in the world to go race against."
Unfortunately for Busch he was eliminated in the opening round of the playoffs. He finished no higher than 18th in the opening trio of post-season races. His championship hopes were officially over after a 20th-place finish at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
"Our playoffs were a nightmare," Busch said after being eliminated from the playoffs. "We didn’t execute, and we didn’t have lap time, and we got to regroup in this [next] seven races to make something better out of our season. That was a nightmare for three races."
See Also: Busch to Appear On ‘The Price Is Right'
The next week Busch posted a ninth-place finish at Dover International Speedway. He would go on to score three more top 10s in the final six races of the season.
There was some question during the season whether Busch would return to Ganassi beyond the 2019 season when his one-year contract expired. Answers came in November when Busch and Ganassi announced a new deal that would keep Busch in the fold for multiple years.
"To have a multiyear deal, it’s comforting that I won’t have to answer the questions weekly about being a 41-year-old veteran in a sport where there’s a young push," Busch said. "To have that done, that’ll be refreshing, because the focus should be on track.
"It should be the on-track product, what happens out there racing, what happens during the week with different promotional things and continuing to build this sport that’s given me so much – those are some of the big reasons why I signed on again to keep going, smile out there and go for the trophy."
Motor Racing Network will continue our 2019 season reviews on Friday, Dec. 20 with a look at the 14th-place finisher Aric Almirola.
2019 Driver Season Reviews