NASCAR champion Kurt Busch will miss the remainder of this season due to a concussion and won’t compete full time in 2023.
The 44-year-old made his announcement Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, his dwelling observe and the place he launched his profession on the bullring as a baby. He choked up when he stated medical doctors informed him “it’s best for me to ‘shut it down.’”
“I do know I’m not 100% in my means to exit and race on the prime degree within the NASCAR Cup Collection,” Busch stated. “These are the very best of the very best drivers, and currently, I have never felt my greatest.”
Busch stated Tyler Reddick will substitute him within the No. 45 Toyota at 23XI Racing subsequent season. Reddick was signed to the crew for the 2024 season, however is now not wanted to finish his contract at Richard Childress Racing as a result of RCR signed Kyle Busch, Kurt’s youthful brother and a two-time Cup champion, for subsequent season.
“If I am cleared, perhaps you may see me at just a few choose races” subsequent season, Busch stated.
Busch was injured in a routine crash in July that uncovered a design flaw in NASCAR’s new Subsequent Gen automotive. He is to date missed 13 consecutive races. Driver Alex Bowman, who was additionally injured this 12 months, has missed two straight and stated this week he’ll be out at the least three extra.
Busch is the final energetic driver who competed in a Cup race in opposition to the late Dale Earnhardt, and the final driver who was a part of the inaugural 10-driver Chase for the Cup in 2004, the 12 months he upset the Hendrick Motorsports juggernaut and received his solely title.
Busch’s retirement leaves Kevin Harvick because the final energetic driver who raced when NASCAR’s prime collection was referred to as the Winston Cup Collection.
23XI praised Busch’s contributions to the second-year crew.
“From the day Kurt Busch joined our crew, we knew he was going to raise our group in some ways,” the crew stated. “From incomes 23XI our first playoff berth together with his commanding win at Kansas Speedway to quite a few hours spent off the observe serving to to develop our program, Kurt has made us higher.
“This season took an surprising flip together with his harm. Regardless of the unlucky circumstances, Kurt has not stopped being a real skilled and a trusted teammate. We totally help Kurt’s choice to concentrate on his well being and are grateful for his steerage as our crew builds a robust basis for the longer term.”
He is in his second season with 23XI Racing and crew co-owner Denny Hamlin stated the group and Toyota need Busch to stay a part of the crew. He is below contract by means of subsequent season to 23XI.
“Kurt’s choice to step away from full-time NASCAR Cup Collection competitors subsequent 12 months is actually not one thing anybody anticipated after we began the season collectively and celebrated in victory lane at Kansas Speedway earlier this 12 months,” stated David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Improvement
“Unlucky circumstances led Kurt to a tough choice, however we all know that he’ll proceed to contribute to your entire program at Toyota, TRD and 23XI Racing. He brings an incredible quantity of information and firsthand championship expertise to his crew and fellow Toyota rivals. We’re right here to help Kurt on this subsequent chapter of his profession and stay up for persevering with to work alongside him.”
Busch made his Cup debut in 2000 with Roush Racing in a Ford, then ran the complete season as a rookie in 2001. He was fired after 5 tumultuous seasons with Roush — a stint that included his 2004 title — and moved to Workforce Penske to drive a Dodge in 2006.
His Penske relationship additionally ended poorly after the 2011 season and Busch moved to Phoenix Racing to drive a Chevrolet for James Finch for one season, then went to Furnishings Row Racing in 2013 the place he revitalized his profession — and started to point out maturity on and off the observe together with his infamous mood.
Busch moved to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014 and was suspended by NASCAR for the primary three races of 2015 for home violence allegations made by an ex-girlfriend. He later landed with Chip Ganassi Racing and eventually 23XI to drive a Toyota in 2021.
He is among the uncommon drivers to compete in all of NASCAR’s producers. Busch and his brother be part of Bobby and Terry Labonte as the one siblings to win Cup titles.
Busch received 34 races in 776 begins over 23 years, together with the Daytona 500 in 2017 with SHR and sponsor Monster, which has remained with him to this present day.
“For greater than 20 years, we’ve been privileged to look at Kurt Busch compete. He has confirmed himself a champion on the racetrack, however maybe simply as importantly, he has grown to change into a real ambassador for the game,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps stated. “Kurt’s drive to enhance the way forward for motorsports has set him aside. We’re thrilled that he’ll stay in our sport as a frontrunner and trusted useful resource. Kurt’s unparalleled ardour for racing provides us hope that we are going to see him in a race automotive once more.”