Kurt Busch addresses his future in emotional news conference at LVMS Media Center
Las Vegas native Kurt Busch announced today that he is stepping away from full-time driving in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2023 during an emotional press conference in the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Media Center.
Busch, who continues the recovery process from a concussion he sustained in July in a race at Pocono, told the assembled media members that he will not race the remainder of this season and will step away from full-time racing with 23XII Racing in 2023.
“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 said. “My long-term health is priority No. 1, and I don’t feel committing at this point to compete for a championship next year is in my best interest or the best interest of the team.”
Busch said he is feeling 90-95-percent in daily activities, but has yet to be cleared by his doctors to return to the cockpit.
“With head movements, and torso movements with my heart rate elevated, that’s when things move quick in my peripheral,” Busch explained. “It would be like looking in the mirror, and then back towards the windshield and around at the competitors, checking the dash like just things are moving quick. And things are slowing down. Things are coming back to me. I just know I’m not 100-percent. The vestibular side is really where I’m focused on with my concussion.”
Busch, 44, has earned 34 Cup Series victories in his 22-year career and said he will continue his role serving as a mentor to the young drivers on the 23XI team.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with 23XI and this team of wonderful professionals and appreciate the support they have shown me over the last few months,” Busch said. “I will continue to work with this group with the wisdom and knowledge gained from the unofficial Ph.D. I’ve earned in this garage area. We’re building something special here and I look forward to continuing working with Bubba [Wallace] off the track as well as Tyler Reddick, who will join the team next year to drive the No. 45 Toyota.”
Busch said the timing of today’s announcement allowed him to share the news here at his home track and he said he was appreciative of all the help and support over the years from the LVMS track, starting with president Chris Powell.
“I’m still competitive, passionate, and I want to continue to perform at my core values, and to give back to a community that has been my life since I left Las Vegas to pursue a professional racing career over 22 years ago,” Busch said. “Next year my contributions to racing may look a little different, but I will continue to give my best to this sport. And, if I’m cleared, maybe you’ll see me at select races.”