After a couple month hiatus, cars are rolling at Daytona again! One driver notably absent from the entry list, however, is none other than 2004 championship winning driver, Kurt Busch. The elder Busch brother will be one of a few Grand Marshals for Sunday’s 65th running of the Daytona 500 and he took some time out of his busy schedule to speak with reporters in the media center not only about his weekend duties but also about his racing future.
You need to know:
- Kurt Busch was forced into early retirement from full-time driving last year during a qualifying crash at Pocono.
- The emphasis here being the term “full-time” as he continues to express his desire to come back and race at least at a part-time capacity.
- Kurt Busch hasn’t always been a fan-favorite driver but since his injury, that tide has seemingly shifted with many of them eagerly waiting this off season for any update on his health and future plans.
During the conference, Kurt Busch indicated that he is right where he belongs at Daytona working with his former team 23XI Racing. Busch has worked closely with the team as a consultant since stepping out from behind the wheel.
“It’s like I’m doing everything the same, except I’m putting on a headset instead of a helmet,” Busch said. “I just know I’m not 100% to race with these guys at this level.”
That news aside, Kurt Busch revealed that both he and his doctors believe he will make a full recovery. He stated that his every day life feels normal and while there’s still a part of him that really misses being behind the wheel, he is perfectly satisfied with how everything has shaken out, even stating that he’s glad Kevin Harvick is there to do his swan song season for him.
Kurt Busch and Monster Energy recently released a promotional video of him “passing the torch” to new Monster Energy driver and reigning Xfinity Series Champion, Ty Gibbs.
Kevin Harvick, a former teammate with Busch at Stewart-Haas Racing, is currently in his final full-time season and will presumably race his last Daytona 500 this Sunday.
Busch’s former team, the No. 45 for 23XI, will be piloted by Tyler Reddick for the 2023 season and beyond.
In The Stands
Jeff Gluck reported on Kurt’s comments on Twitter today which got a spicy response from one fan in Josh Neal:
Other responses to Busch’s comments were more empathic:
From The Press Box
Jeff Gluck’s coverage of the Kurt Busch conference:
And some comments from Ryan McGee:
Only time will tell if Kurt Busch will return to NASCAR at a driving capacity but one thing is clear: he is satisfied with his career as a whole and, if it is the end, he is okay with that.