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2017 Daytona 500 champ Kurt Busch returns to SHR

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (AP) Kurt Busch will return to Stewart-Haas Racing for the 2018 season.

Busch, the 2017 Daytona 500 champion, will start his fifth season with SHR with a new crew chief. Busch will be paired on the No. 41 Ford with Billy Scott, who takes over for Tony Gibson. Gibson will remain with SHR in a yet-to-be determined capacity.

Busch is the 2004 NASCAR Cup champion and has 29 career victories. SHR had declined the 2018 contract option on Busch but the organization had said it planned to bring him back for another year.

Aric Almirola, who replaces Danica Patrick in the No. 10 Ford, will be paired with crew chief John Klausmeier, a team engineer with SHR since 2009. Klausmeier served as an interim crew chief for a Busch victory in 2016 at Pocono.

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Updated December 15, 2017

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