Stewart-Haas Racing's Kurt Busch has been confirmed as one of the stars who will be taking part in the 2014 Race of Champions, which will take place at the Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados on December 13-14.
The 2004 NASCAR Cup champion will be one half of Team USA alongside this year's Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. The pair were previously team mates earlier this year at Andretti Autosport for the Indy 500, in which Busch made his maiden IndyCar Series start and went on to finish the marathon event in sixth place and earn himself Rookie of the Year honours.
"I've raced for a lot of great sponsors in my career, but to race for my country, that's something pretty special," said Busch after confirming that he would indeed take up the invitation to compete in this year's ROS.
"You look at the names of the people who've competed in the Race Of Champions, past and present, to be included on that list is a real honour," the 36-year-old added. "I'm excited to team up with Ryan again. He won the Indy 500 for our team, hopefully we can win this one for the United States."
Busch had been only the fourth driver in motor sport history to attempt 'The Double', which involves starting in both the Indy 500 and the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day. He now joins stars from Le Mans, IndyCar, V8 Supercar, Rallycross and F1 in this year's ROC which pits the world's greatest drivers from motor sport's top series disciplines in a head-to-head battle in identical machinery on a unique track.
"We are delighted that Kurt will compete at the 2014 Race Of Champions," said ROC organiser Fredrik Johnsson. "We have had a long history of welcoming NASCAR's biggest names and now Kurt is keeping up that tradition. He has always been a very exciting driver to watch on track and we are in no doubt he will entertain the crowds in the heat of the Bushy Park Circuit in December.
"We hope many American race fans will make the trip to Barbados to watch how Kurt gets on against some of the best drivers in the world," Johnsson added. "It will be especially intriguing to see if he can partner Ryan Hunter-Reay to a long-overdue ROC Nations Cup victory for Team USA.
"We look forward to seeing lots of their fellow countrymen cheer them on at this festival of racing in the Caribbean sun."
This will be the first time that the ROC has been staged in Barbados. Previous venues to host the event include the Nurburgring, the Stade de France in Paris, Wembley Stadium in London, Beijing National Stadium and the Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Last year's round had been scheduled to be the second to be held at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. However the event had to be cancelled because of political unrest in the country, the first time that the ROC has been forced to miss a year since its inception in 1988.
Other drivers already confirmed for this year's event alongside Busch and Hunter-Reay are F1 stars Romain Grosjean and Susie Wolff, Le Mans 24-Hours champion Tom Kristensen, World Rally (and now Rallycross) star Petter Solberg and five-time V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup.
Further names are due to be added to the line-up in the coming weeks.
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