• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

Kurt Busch will not drive full-time in 2023

ByBrenden Martin

Oct 15, 2022
Kurt Busch introduced at NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway in 2022.

Photo by Buda Mendes | Getty Images

23XI Racing No. 45 driver Kurt Busch announced that he will miss the remainder of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season and he will not drive full time in 2023.

The announcement comes as Busch has missed the last 12 races after a wreck in the final round of qualifying at Pocono Raceway in July left him with concussion-like symptoms that have not gone away, saying he does not feel 100% when it comes to vestibular issues.

“The doctors have come to the conclusion that it is best for me to “shut it down” for this season,” Busch said in a statement read in the media center at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, his home track.

“As I continue to focus on my health and work towards being cleared, I will step away from full-time NASCAR Cup Series competition in 2023,” Busch said in his statement.

The 2004 NASCAR Cup Series Champion won the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway in May, securing a spot in the NASCAR Playoffs. Before the regular season finale at Daytona International, Busch and 23XI Racing waived his medical waiver, rendering him ineligible for the playoffs as he was not cleared to race.

His waiver allowed Team Penske No. 12 Ryan Blaney to take the final playoff spot on points, who is still racing for a championship in the Round of 8.

Busch also announced that Richard Childress Racing No. 8 Tyler Reddick would assume his role in the No. 45 Toyota Camry TRD next season. Busch was also adamant about staying a part of the team in some capacity.

“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.

Reddick announced earlier this season that he would join 23XI Racing in 2024, Richard Childress Racing used its contract option for 2023. However, RCR expressed displeasure with the timing of the announcement.

Previously, RCR announced that Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 driver Kyle Busch, Kurt’s younger brother, would drive the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro next season and Reddick would be moved to a third charter team for RCR to race out his contract. On Saturday, RCR announced it would release Reddick, allowing him to drive for another team.

“With Kyle Busch coming to RCR next year, we believe that it is in our mutual best interest to focus on building successful programs for the future,” RCR’s statement said.

“The circumstances resulting in the seat being available are very unfortunate, but I am really excited to start my journey early with @23XIRacing one year early,” Reddick said via Twitter.

Busch shared hopes to run a selection of races in 2023, citing hopes to win at Darlington Raceway for the first time and win at Michigan International Speedway for Toyota, as he had done for Ford, Dodge and Chevy.

Ty Gibbs will continue to race in the No. 45 car for the remaining four races this season. The full-time Xfinity Series driver will look to gain more experience in the Next Gen Cup Series car.

Busch left the door open for a return to racing in some capacity next year, stopping short of calling this his retirement.