Kurt Busch Named Kulwicki Driver Development Program Banquet Guest Speaker

The annual awards banquet for the KDDP is scheduled for Wednesday, December 14


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CONCORD, N.C. (November 22, 2022) – Kurt Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Cup Champion and 34-race winner at stock car racing’s highest level, will be the featured guest speaker at the 2022 Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) Awards Banquet. The event, which will celebrate the seventh season for the program honoring 1992 NASCAR Champion and 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame member Alan Kulwicki, is scheduled for Wednesday, December 14 in The Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“We’re extremely delighted to have Kurt agree to be our featured guest speaker,” said Tom Roberts, Executive Director for the KDDP. “With his spectacular career beginning in late models on the bullrings out West, I am sure our audience – and especially our seven aspiring young KDDP finalists for the 2022 season – will be eager to hear Kurt’s message.”

“I’m really looking forward to attending the banquet and meeting all the drivers who carried the KDDP colors this season,” said Busch. “I learned about the Kulwicki development program through Tony Gibson (KDDP board member) when we worked together at Stewart-Haas Racing. It’s a great accomplishment to be selected to represent Alan and the KDDP has had a huge positive influence on so many young racers through the years.

“When I look back on my career, it’s pretty incredible to think that I was racing a Super Late Model in 1999 and only a couple of years later, I was a full-time Cup driver,” Busch said. “I’ve learned so much through the years and I’m looking forward to share my story – and maybe even provide a little advice – to the KDDP class of 2022.”

Busch, a second-generation racer, began his career racing go-karts at age six. He competed in Dwarf Series (modifieds) at age 14, before turning his attention to full-bodied late models. His first big break came in 1998 when the Las Vegas-based Star Nursery NASCAR Southwest Tour Team hired him to drive their No. 70 car.

Busch excelled in Southwest Tour competition, winning the series Rookie of the Year honors in 1998 and the points title in 1999. During his run to the 1999 championship, Busch posted six wins, 11 top-five finishes and 12 top-10s in 18 races.

The success he enjoyed on the Southwest Tour helped put his name on the map and opened doors for him to earn a spot in the old Roush Racing “Gong Show” competition, which earned him a ride in the NASCAR Truck Series for the 2000 season. It was the beginning of a remarkable career in the top three levels of NASCAR racing that has spanned more than two decades.

Busch’s impressive 2000 season saw him get elevated straight up to the premiere NASCAR Cup Series after only nine months in the trucks, as he made his Cup debut in the September race at Dover that year.

After competing in the final seven Cup races in 2000, he was a fulltime driver in the series in 2001. In 776 career Cup races to date, Busch has posted 34 wins, 161 top-five finishes, 339 top-10s and 28 poles. He claimed the 2004 Cup Championship in dramatic fashion.

His brief time in the truck series produced four wins, 14 top-five finishes and 20 top-10s in 28 races. In 30 career NASCAR Xfinity starts, he recorded five wins, 17 top-five finishes and 23 top-10s. He also had one win, eight top-five finishes and nine top-10s in IROC competition, where he claimed the 2003 series championship.

Illustrating the versatility Busch has behind the wheel, he turned heads in his only start in Indy-Car racing. In the 2014 Indianapolis 500, he qualified an Andretti Autosport car 12th and drove to a sixth-place finish to earn top rookie honors. Busch scored a podium finish in the 2008 24 Hours of Daytona Rolex Grand Am race. He even ventured into NHRA drag racing, qualifying an Allen Johnson-powered Dodge at the NHRA Gatornationals in 2011.

The annual awards banquet for the KDDP, honoring it’s seventh Kulwicki Cup Champion and the other six finalists, is scheduled for Wednesday, December 14, in The Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Official KDDP media partner, RacingAmerica.com, will offer a live-streaming broadcast of the event. RacingAmerica’s Alan Deitz, the RA crew and Tom Roberts, KDDP executive director, will emcee the event.

-Kulwicki Driver Development Program Press Release