CHICAGO (CBS) — One wears “41” on his jersey. Another sports “41” on his door. Neither is done – though both will have off-season decisions to make.
NASCAR driver Kurt Busch is in the Chicago area this week, not long after news broke that Stewart-Haas Racing had declined to pick up his option for the 2018 season.
“It actually gives me more options to talk to other teams, check market value, and see what’s going on,” Busch said.
That sounds a lot like baseball free agency. And as luck, and a lifelong dedication to the Cubs, would have it, Busch visited Wrigley Field on Monday night; which gave him the chance to speak to John Lackey, who will be a free agent after this year.
“I’d tell him…win some races, race well, and it’ll take care of itself,” said Lackey, who chuckled at the likelihood he’d see Busch again. “Oh, and his career will last longer than mine.”
Lackey is 39, Busch is 38. But Lackey’s won 10 or more games for the 14th straight season, and Busch sits 14th in the NASCAR standings. So both still have gas in the tank, so to speak, and will have chances to keep their respective runs going. Although Lackey may have a greater variety of teams from which to choose.
“Ultimately, there’s not too many teams that are providing quality cars like this that have open situations,” said Busch, who may return to Stewart-Haas on a reworked deal. “It’s good for them to have made the move, but at the same time it’s risky on their part too.”
Busch is practicing on the Chicagoland Speedway track this week. This year’s Tales of the Turtles 400 is September 17th in Joliet.