Kurt Busch, known as “the Outlaw,” has competed as a NASCAR driver at the sport’s highest level since 1997. If you think about it, that’s the year some of the rookie drivers that are racing nowadays were born!
Kurt may not be in the headlines as much as his younger brother Kyle Busch, but you could definitely argue that he paved the way for little bro and his two championships. Not to mention, with one Cup Series championship under his belt, Kurt’s no slouch on the track either.
Over the years, Kurt’s seen plenty of changes in the sport of professional auto racing, and has definitely had his ups and downs. Even still, as currently one of the longest-tenured active drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series, Kurt Busch has established himself as one of NASCAR’s wealthiest drivers. Here, we’ll look at the veteran NASCAR driver’s racing career, and how he eventually amassed his massive net worth.
Kurt Busch’s NASCAR Career
On August 4, 1978, Kurt Thomas Busch was born to Tom and Gaye Busch in Las Vegas, Nevada. He got his start racing go-karts at the age of six. By the time he was 14, he moved on to Dwarf car racing. In 1997, he got the opportunity to replace injured driver Chris Trickle in the Star Nursery No. 70 team, and his career pretty much took off after that. Busch won the 1998 Auto Zone Elite Division Southwest Series Rookie of the Year, and won the series championship the very next year.
In 2000, he moved on to the Craftsman Truck Series (now the Camping World Truck Series), driving the No. 99 Ford F-150 for Roush Racing, during which time he won the Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the Year. He was promoted to the Cup Series the following year, and drove the No. 97 John Deere Ford. In 2004, after several years of grinding it out on the track, he was named the Nextel Cup Series Champion.
Busch left Roush following the 2005 season, and from 2006 to 2011, he raced for Penske Racing (now Team Penske). In the years that followed, Busch would compete for Phoenix Racing, Furniture Row Racing, and Stewart-Haas Racing.
Aside from his Cup Series championship, Busch also won such races as the 2010 Coca-Cola 600, 2010 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, 2011 Budweiser Shootout, and 2017 Daytona 500. In 683 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races run, Busch has 32 wins, 319 top-10 finishes, and 28 poles. In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, he also has five wins, 23 top-10s, and three poles out of 30 races. He’s also racked up four wins, 20 top-10s, and four poles in the Truck Series.
As of 2019, Busch drives the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Chip Ganassi Racing, maintaining his tenure as a veteran driver with four top-fives and 14 top-10 finishes in 2020.
Over the course of his career, Kurt Busch was the center of a number of controversies, both on and off the track. In fact, in 2006, the racer was selected as number 3 on GQ Magazine’s list of the Top 10 Most Hated Athletes, right behind Barry Bonds and Terrell Owens. This was due to a number of feuds with rival drivers over the years, including Robby Gordon, Jimmy Spencer, Greg Biffle, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, and Tony Stewart. He even famously beefed with his brother Kyle following the 2007 Nextel All-Star Challenge.
On February 20, 2015, Busch became the first driver suspended for allegations of domestic violence under NASCAR rules, following an investigation into claims that he assaulted his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll by slamming head against a wall in a motor home at Dover International Speedway. Despite a lack of evidence, he served a month-long suspension. In September 2019, Driscoll was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison for fraud and tax evasion.
Kurt Busch’s Net Worth
Kurt Busch has an estimated net worth of $70 million, which he has mostly amassed through winnings, salary, endorsements, and licensing deals. His current sponsors include Chevrolet, Clover, Credit One Bank, Goodyear, McDonald’s, 3M, and Sunoco, with Monster Energy as his primary sponsor. He is also involved in the Vet Tix Foundation, which provides race passes to American military service people and their families.
In 2013, the race car driver bought a nearly $4 million mansion in Mooresville, North Carolina, right next to the beautiful Lake Norman. Featured on CMT Cribs and nicknamed the “Chateau de Busch,” the 9,500 square-foot home has 4 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, a massive garage, and a trophy room that also houses a pure gold replica of Busch’s championship car.
Years later, Busch put his Mooresville home up for sale, ending an era, but starting a new one with his second wife, polo player Ashley Van Metre (his ex-wife is Eva Bryan, whom he quietly divorced in 2011). Busch is friends with Ashley’s sister, who introduced the two in 2014. They were married January 7, 2017.
In 2019, the two starred on the CMT reality show Racing Wives, alongside brother Kyle Busch and his wife Samantha.
Now that the regular NASCAR series are back underway, we should be seeing more of Kurt Busch on the track, though you never know what Kyle’s older brother might be up to next!
This post was originally published on January 8, 2020.