2004 Cup Series Champion Kurt Busch, sidelined since suffering a concussion following a wreck at Pocono Raceway, announced on Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that he will bow out of full-time Cup competition in 2023.
“I know I’m not 100% in my ability to go out and race at the top level in the NASCAR Cup Series. These are the best of the best drivers, and lately, I haven’t felt my best.
The doctors have come to the conclusion that it is best for me to “shut it down” for this season. Even though I have made solid gains since I have been working with top specialists, and the team at Toyota Performance Center, I’m still not 100% and I’m still not cleared to compete.
As I continue to focus on my health and work towards being cleared, I will be stepping away from full-time NASCAR Cup Series competition in 2023,” Busch announced in an emotional tone.
With his announcement, he also included his 23XI Racing team’s plans with Tyler Reddick.
“We’re building something special here and I look forward to continuing working with Bubba (Wallace) off track as well as Tyler Reddick, who will join the team next year to drive the #45 Toyota.”
To read all of Busch’s comments:
— Kurt Busch (@KurtBusch) October 15, 2022
The official statement from 23XI:
— 23XI Racing (@23XIRacing) October 15, 2022
The official statement from Toyota:
“Kurt’s decision to step away from full-time NASCAR Cup Series competition next year is certainly not something anyone expected when we started the season together and celebrated in victory lane at Kansas Speedway earlier this year. Unfortunate circumstances led Kurt to a difficult decision, but we know that he will continue to contribute to the entire program at Toyota, TRD and 23XI Racing. He brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and firsthand championship experience to his team and fellow Toyota competitors. We’re here to support Kurt in this next chapter of his career and look forward to continuing to work alongside him.” — David Wilson, President, TRD U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development)
The official statement from NASCAR:
“For more than two decades, we have been privileged to watch Kurt Busch compete. He has proven himself a champion on the racetrack, but perhaps just as importantly, he has grown to become a true ambassador for the sport. Kurt’s drive to improve the future of motorsports has set him apart. We are thrilled that he’ll remain in our sport as a leader and trusted resource. Kurt’s unparalleled passion for racing gives us hope that we will see him in a race car again.” — Steve Phelps, President, NASCAR
Video of Busch’s announcement:
Kurt Busch opening statement on not racing full time next year. pic.twitter.com/JdgfFRIRQN
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) October 15, 2022