Kurt Busch Leaves Penske Racing Under 'Mutual Agreement,' Team Says

Kurt Busch is no longer a driver for Penske Racing, the team said in a Monday morning release.

Busch was reportedly fired by Penske, but the team presented the separation as a "mutual agreement" and said both sides had a hand in the decision.

Penske will now look for another driver (rumored to be David Ragan, though he declined comment to SB Nation), while Busch evaluates his future in racing.

The news release said Busch "will seek new opportunities with another race team," though his options seem extremely limited in the current NASCAR landscape.

"I am grateful to Penske Racing for six very productive years," Busch said. "Together we won a lot of races – 16 in all. Leaving a great organization and a lucrative contract is not easy, but it's an important step for me and allows me to take a deep breath to work on things that can make me a better driver and a better person."

Busch said last week he was seeing a sports psychologist to deal with personal issues, which include extreme anger. That anger was captured in a YouTube rant toward an ESPN pit reporter, and it ultimately led to Busch's departure.

For Penske – and more important, for sponsor Shell – enough was enough.

"I appreciate the victories that Kurt has brought Penske Racing and our sponsors over the past six years," team owner Roger Penske said. "While I am disappointed that Kurt will not be racing for our team in the future, both Kurt and I felt that separating at this time was best for all parties, including our team and sponsors. I wish Kurt the best in his future racing endeavors."

Where can Busch go now?

It's unlikely he'll be able to find a competitive full-time Cup ride unless he unseats an existing driver. But he's already burned bridges with Ford teams and Dodge teams, so a team such as Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing might be one of the only places that would give him an opportunity.

Penske will reportedly announce its choice to replace Busch later today.

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