Kurt Busch Stepping Away from Cup Competition


Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

Kurt Busch provided an update on his concussion recovery and racing future in a press conference on Saturday morning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Busch announced that he will not race full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series starting in 2023. 

Busch, who has been out as he undergoes recovery from a concussion he suffered during qualifying at Pocono in July, has missed the last 12 Cup races. Additionally, he will miss the last four events remaining on the 2022 season. Ty Gibbs will continue to substitute for Busch. 

“I know I’m not 100% in my ability to go out and race at the top level in the NASCAR Cup Series,” Busch said in a statement he read. “These are the best of the best drivers, and lately, I haven’t felt my best.”

Busch did not call it a retirement, as he hopes to make a return in some capacity, “I will get back to 100%, I promise,” he said.

Busch’s tenure in the NASCAR Cup Series spans 23 years. His accomplishments include one series championship and 34 victories, including wins in the Daytona 500 and Coca-Cola 600. He has won in 19 of the 22 seasons he was a full-time driver with at least one victory in each of the last nine seasons. 

Outside of wins, Busch earned 161 top fives and 339 top-10 finishes in 776 career Cup starts. 

Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

While Busch is unsure of what his future holds in a racecar, he hopes to do broadcasting for FOX Sports. 

Busch isn’t the only Cup Series driver to be sidelined by concussion symptoms this year. Hendrick Motorsports driver, Alex Bowman, continues to miss races and relinquished the chance to compete for the 2022 title because of a rear-end impact similar to the one Busch sustained. NASCAR is to make changes during the off season to address the problem before the start of the 2023 season. 

Toyota Racing Development released a statement on Busch's announcement. 

“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,” TRD President David Wilson said in the statement.

“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.”

NASCAR President Steve Phelps said in a statement, "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.”


Kurt Busch Stepping Away from Cup Competition Kurt Busch Stepping Away from Cup Competition Reviewed by Courtney Horn on Saturday, October 15, 2022 Rating: 5