LAS VEGAS (AP) — NASCAR champion Kurt Busch will miss the rest of the season with a concussion and will not be competing full-time in 2023.
The 44-year-old made his announcement Saturday at his home track, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where he started his career in the bullring as a kid. He choked his throat when the doctor told him.
“I know I’m not 100% capable of racing at the top level of the NASCAR Cup Series,” Busch said. “These are the best of the best drivers and I’m not feeling my best these days.”
Busch said Tyler Reddick would replace him in 23XI Racing’s No. 45 Toyota next season. Reddick was signed to the team for the 2024 season, but had to complete his deal with Richard Childress Racing as RCR signed Kurt’s brother and two-time Cup champion Kyle Busch for the following season. is gone.
“If I’m allowed, you may see me at some select races,” Busch said.
Bush was injured in a routine crash in July that exposed design flaws in NASCAR’s new next-gen car. He has missed 13 consecutive games so far. Injured driver Alex Bowman has missed two games in a row this year and said he will miss at least three more games this week.
Bush was the last active driver to race a Cup race with the late Dale Earnhardt and the last driver to participate in the inaugural 10-driver Chase for the Cup in 2004, with Hendrick Motorsports It’s a year that upsets the American juggernaut and is his only win. Title.
With Bush’s retirement, Kevin Harvick will be the last active driver to race when NASCAR’s top series was called the Winston Cup Series.
23XI praised Bush’s contribution to the team in his second year.
“From the day Kurt Busch joined our team, we knew he would improve our organization in many ways,” said the team. Kurt, who helped us grow, made us better.
“This season took an unexpected turn with his injury. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, Kurt never stopped being a true professional and a reliable teammate. I fully support Kurt’s decision to focus on his health and appreciate his guidance as our team builds a strong foundation for the future.”
He is in his second season with 23XI Racing and team co-owner Denny Hamlin said the organization and Toyota want Busch to remain part of the team. He has a contract up to 23XI until next season.
David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development, said: “Kurt’s decision to step away from the full-time NASCAR Cup Series next year is a big step for us as we start the season together and win at Kansas Speedway earlier this year. “No one expected it when we celebrated.”
“Unfortunate circumstances have forced Kurt to make a difficult decision, but we know he will continue to contribute to the overall program of Toyota, TRD and 23XI Racing. We are here to support Kurt in the next chapter of his career and look forward to continuing to work with him. I am doing it.”
Busch made his Cup debut with Ford’s Roush Racing in 2000, then ran a full season as a rookie in 2001. He was fired after his tumultuous five seasons at Roush. 2006 Dodge.
His relationship with Penske also did not work out after the 2011 season. Bush moved to Phoenix Racing where he drove a Chevrolet for James his Finch for one season. He then moved to Furniture He Row in 2013 to rejuvenate his career. Track down with his notorious temper.
Bush moved to Stewart Haas Racing in 2014 and was suspended from NASCAR for the first three races of 2015 due to domestic violence allegations made by his ex-girlfriend. , in 2021 I drove a Toyota in a 23XI.
He is one of the few drivers to compete in all makes of NASCAR. Bush and his brothers joined Bobby and Terry his Labonte as the only brothers to win the Cup title.
Busch won 34 races in 776 starts in 23 years, including the 2017 Daytona 500, and SHR and sponsor Monster are with him to this day.
“For more than 20 years, we’ve had the privilege of watching Kurt Busch race,” said NASCAR President Steve Phelps. Just as importantly, he has grown into a true ambassador for the sport and Kurt’s drive to improve the future of motorsport has made him stand out. We are delighted to have him stay in our sport and we hope to see him again in race cars as Kart’s unparalleled passion for racing.”
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