Kurt Busch retiring from full-time NASCAR racing following crash

Kurt Busch has been out with a concussion following a NASCAR crash at Pocono; He announced he’s run his final full-time season

44-year-old Kurt Busch has spent 23 years competing at the NASCAR Cup Series level. He claimed the series title back in 2004.

At the start of the 2022 season, Busch joined 23XI Racing. The team owner by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan is in their second season of competition. They added a car for 2022, the No. 45 which Busch was signed to pilot for multiple years.

Busch was injured in a crash at Pocono Raceway. It’s been several months since the accident but he remains on the sidelines.

“I should be better right now and I’m not,” Kyle Busch stated in the press conference.

Today, Kurt Busch announced he’s stepping away from full-time NASCAR Cup Series competition. He’s confirmed that he won’t return in the 2022 season due to injury.

Tyler Reddick currently drives the No. 8 for Richard Childress Racing but recently signed with 23XI Racing. However, that deal wasn’t expected to be put into place until 2024.

At the same time, Richard Childress Racing signed Kyle Busch as he’s set to leave Joe Gibbs Racing at the end of the 2022 season. Kyle Busch will drive the No. 8 for RCR in 2023.

23XI Racing has bought out the 2023 portion of Reddick’s contract with RCR. Reddick will now drive the No. 45 starting in 2023.

Kurt Busch noted that he would come back and run part-time in 2023 with the opportunity.

New Gen Car: Safety Issues

Also new for 2022, is the Next Gen car. It’s a spec chassis, designed to level the playing field, reduce costs and increase safety.

The car is safer, on paper. Yet all year, drivers have been saying that impacts feel greater than with the previous car.

NASCAR drivers dispute safer Next Gen car; Say NASCAR impacts are greater

The car is much stiffer, it’s certainly safer with regards to massive impacts. However, in smaller impacts, the load is being transferred directly to the cockpit.

NASCAR has already released rule changes to the car for the 2023 season. The new rules will see several bars removed on the rear clip. The changes will be used to create a crush area and dissipate impacts.

As for the costs to do so, NASCAR is covering the costs of the changes. These changes all came as Kurt Busch, Alex Bowman and Cody Ware were out due to injuries sustained in crashes.

NASCAR hosted a safety meeting with the drivers last week at the Roval. They detailed many of the upcoming changes to the drivers directly and also listened to their concerns in the 45min meeting.

NASCAR president addresses many issues in the sport after safety meeting

NASCAR drivers comment after safety meeting

Kurt Busch Crash

First, it may have started before most have gathered, on July 10th in a crash at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Corey LaJoie has a run on Chase Elliott on the final lap. He looked to the outside lane but Elliott through a huge block. LaJoie bounced off the wall and spun across the track. He then overcorrected and came back across the track, directly into Kurt Busch who was slammed into the wall.

Two weeks later, Kurt Busch spun in turn three during qualifying at Pocono Raceway. He backed the car into the wall, a square, heavy hit with the rear bumper.

Kurt Busch: Pocono Raceway (Crash Video)

Since that impact, we’ve learned that the rear of the car was a safety issue. It’s too stiff as many drivers have stated.

Kurt Busch didn’t race the next day as Ty Gibbs filled his seat. The driver has been absent from the car ever since, out with concussion-like symptoms.

Busch had a win in 2022 and was locked into the playoffs. However, he elected to pull himself from the playoffs.

July 27 Medical Update

August 11 Medical Update

August 19 Medical Update

Kurt Busch backs out of NASCAR playoffs; Waiver removed (August 25)

Kurt Busch details the crash
Kurt Busch in victory lane - Kansas Speedway - NASCAR Cup Series
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS – MAY 15: Kurt Busch, driver of the #45 Jordan Brand Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway on May 15, 2022 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

“At Pocono, I wanted to get that first pole for 23XI,” Kurt Busch stated on Thursday’s airing of Race of the Championship.

“Pocono is one of my favorites. The car was there. I just overstepped the line coming through turn three. The thing just snapped around.”

“It just backed in. I 1000% knew that it was a different kind of hit. That’s been the scary part and the tough part.”

“Not running for a championship in 2022 was a tough moment. It’s probably been the toughest part about all of this.”

Busch has run 776 races in his career and collected 34 wins along the way.

Kurt Busch issues a statement

“This NASCAR village is my home and I love it here,” Kurt Busch stated via social media.

“28 years ago, I stood in this area of the desert and took a glamour shot with my first race car, which I built with my dad and my family.”

“Racing is all I have ever known. My passion, work ethic, and persistence have helped me reach all the dreams that a kid could dream.”

“There is not one reason why, or one person, or one circumstance, that has made a stronger difference than another. It has taken everything and everyone.”

“With that said, 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.”

“My long-term health is priority number one, 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.”

Tyler Reddick to drive to the No. 45 in 2023

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with 23XI Racing and this team of wonderful professionals and appreciate the support they have shown me over the last few months. I will continue to work with this group with the wisdom and knowledge gained from the PhD I’ve earned in this garage area. We’re building something special here and I look forward to continuing working with Bubba off the track as well as Tyler Reddick, who will join the team next year to drive the No. 45 Toyota.”

“I will continue to be a brand ambassador with Monster Energy who are my family. Our fraternity and sorority of athletes are the best of the best. Monster Energy and I have been together for over a decade and been around the world conquering a ‘lifetime in a can.’ “

“Toyota and TRD remain part of my future as well. They have embraced me like a long-lost brother, and I’m grateful for their support. We will continue going places together.”


“And to all the NASCAR fans, I can’t thank you enough for your support throughout the journey this year and all the years. Your notes and words of encouragement have meant a lot to me.”

“I’ve also been blessed throughout my career to race with so many great teams, teammates and sponsors. All those people I’ve met along the way have made the journey up to now that much more special.”

“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 concluded, “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.”

Kurt Busch: Pocono Raceway (Crash Video)

Alex Bowman crash video


Kurt Busch | 23XI Racing | Joe Gibbs Racing | Pocono Raceway | NASCAR