Kurt Busch Biography
Kurt Busch is an American professional stock car racing driver. He currently competes full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for Chip Ganassi Racing. He is the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion and currently tied for the second-longest-tenured active driver in the Cup Series with Ryan Newman – having made their first start in 2000. He is the older brother of two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch. The brothers are second-generation racing drivers; their father, Tom, won several NASCAR-sanctioned events.
Kurt Busch has driven for Stewart-Haas Racing, Furniture Row Racing, Phoenix Racing, Penske Racing, and Roush Racing in his Cup career, which began in 2000. The winner of thirty-one Cup career races, Busch was driving for Roush Racing when he won the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series championship.
When he won the 2004 title, it was the first-ever season using the “Chase for the Cup” points format. With a 2006 win in the Busch Series, he became one of only 31 drivers to win races in all three of NASCAR’s top divisions: the Cup Series, the Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. Busch is also a Daytona 500 winner, accomplishing the feat in 2017. He has also raced in the National Hot Rod Association and IndyCar Series.
Kurt Busch was born to Thomas and Gaye Busch in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the age of six, Busch was accompanying his father to the track and competing in kart racing himself. As an underage teenager, he competed in Dwarf competition winning in just his second race, at the Las Vegas Speedway Park. This father and son team competed for western tracks from Southern California to Utah.
In 1994, his first full year as a driver, Kurt Busch won ten consecutive races at ten different tracks. His father eventually sold their dwarf equipment and purchased a powerful car for the Legends Series, which Busch began driving in 1996 at age 18. After graduating at Durango High School, Busch enrolled at the University of Arizona, hoping to earn a degree in Pharmacy.
Kurt Busch became engaged to girlfriend Eva Bryan while attending the 2005 Hungarian Grand Prix. On July 27, 2006, three years to the day of the meeting on a blind date, they were married in Virginia. The footage was taped and later aired on national television. Busch announced on June 30, 2011, “Those in the NASCAR community have been aware for some time now that we are no longer together and we are legally separated”. The announcement came days after Kurt Busch kissed another woman in Victory Lane celebration following a win at Sonoma Raceway. Kurt Busch and Eva Bryan filed for divorce in early June and were legally separated later that month.
Busch has a documented history of verbally abusing members of his team and the media. During the 2011 NASCAR Championship week, Kurt Busch revealed that he had been working with a sports psychologist for two months, to work on “personal issues”.
Busch’s first racing experience was in a Dwarf car at age 14 at Pahrump Valley Speedway. He was put in the Dwarf car by his father. Kurt Busch earned his big break after Chris Trickle was wounded in an unsolved shooting. (Trickle would die of the injuries over a year later.) The Star Nursery team looked for a new driver to replace Trickle for the No. 70 team. Kurt Busch gained national exposure while competing against Ron Hornaday, Jr., Matt Crafton, Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, and others for the first time in the 1997 Winter Heat Series at Tucson Raceway Park.
Busch’s team went on to win the 1998 Auto Zone Elite Division Southwest Series Rookie of the Year. Kurt Busch followed up by winning the series championship in 1999.
That led to a tryout in a Roush Racing “Gong Show”, which he won and earned a Craftsman Truck Series ride. Kurt Busch raced the No. 99 Ford F-150. He won four races and finished runner-up to teammate Greg Biffle in the championship standings, as well as winning Rookie of the Year honors.
Following Kurt Busch’s release from Penske Racing, Busch realized that he wasn’t “having fun” anymore and, next to going to therapy for his anger problems, wanted to “put the fun back into racing.” As a result, Busch declined an offer from Richard Petty Motorsports in favor of an early-season agreement to drive for Phoenix Racing, in the No. 51 Chevrolet, for the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season. Kurt Busch also ran a limited Nationwide Series schedule for the team, At the same time, Busch formed a sponsorship relationship with Monster Energy Drink in which he signed a deal with Kyle Busch Motorsports, to share the No. 54 car with his younger brother in the Nationwide Series.
- Full Name: Kurt Thomas Busch
- Date of Birth: August 4, 1978
- Age: 41
- Birth Place: Las Vegas, Nevada
- Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
- Weight: 160 lb (73 kg)
- Current team: Chevrolet Motorsport
- Competitions won: 2006 Food City 500, 2009 Kobalt Tools 500
- Spouse: Ashley Van Metre (m. 2017), Eva Bryan (m. 2006–2011)
- Car no., team: 1 (Chip Ganassi Racing)
- 2019 position: 13th
- Best finish: 1st (2004)
- First race: 2000 MBNA.com 400 (Dover)
- Last race: 2020 Dixie Vodka 400 (Homestead)
- First win: 2002 Food City 500 (Bristol)
- Last win: 2019 Quaker State 400 (Kentucky)
- Net Worth: $50 million
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