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Monday, August 26, 2013
Updated: August 27, 2:46 PM ET
Kurt Busch joining Stewart-Haas

By Marty Smith
ESPN

Kurt Busch has signed a multiyear contract to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing beginning with the 2014 season, Busch told ESPN on Monday morning.

"I'm going to Stewart-Haas," Busch said. "I've signed my deal."

The SHR organization has said it will hold a news conference Tuesday afternoon "to announce the future expansion of Stewart-Haas Racing."

Busch received the offer to drive for Stewart-Haas a week ago and received a subsequent offer from his current team, Furniture Row Racing, last week.

He will be the fourth driver in the SHR stable, joining team owner Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Danica Patrick.

Busch is one of several drivers on the bubble to qualify for NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup. With two races remaining to determine the Chase field, Busch ranks 12th in the standings, six points behind 10th-place Joey Logano.

The top-10 drivers and two wildcard entries qualify for the 10-race Chase playoffs.

"It was always our intention to extend Kurt's contract," FRR general manager Joe Garone said in a statement Monday. "We made him an offer last week to continue as the driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet in 2014 and beyond. Though he did not accept our offer we respect his decision and wish him future success. His driving skill and being a dedicated team player will always be appreciated. Right now, the main focus for Kurt and the team is to qualify for the Chase and contend for the 2013 Sprint Cup Series championship."

FRR has begun the search process for a new driver for the 2014 season.

Gene Haas, who co-owns SHR with Stewart, told ESPN.com on Saturday that the 2004 Sprint Cup champion would be sponsored by his non-racing company, Haas Automation.

"I'd be happy to have a driver like that on our team," Haas said. "You'd win a lot of races. I'd really be happy for my company, Haas, to be in the winner's circle. I've never been there. I want to be there with that name.

"I know Kurt has had a lot of sponsorship issues, but to me, I just want to win. I'm not too worried about that stuff."

Busch has struggled to land sponsors since a tumultuous departure from Penske Racing after the 2011 season. He had joined Furniture Row Racing with six races remaining in the 2012 season.

Busch said Monday that he appreciates greatly the opportunity afforded him at FRR. Asked whether he can maintain focus and help get the No. 78 team into the Chase, he said, "Come Wednesday, that's all I'm going to think about."