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Kurt Busch Officially Announces Retirement From NASCAR Cup Series Competition

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Cody Williams

Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
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The 2004 Cup Champion, at the age of 45, ends his career as a driver in the Cup Series; Looks to the future in helping to develop 23XI and its drivers

What’s Happening?

At the age for 45-years-old, after being in the NASCAR Cup Series for 23 years, Kurt Busch, 2004’s Cup Series Champion, has decided to call it a career. He did so both by the tweet below containing a tribute video to Kurt’s career and his many fans as well as a press conference at the Daytona International Speedway.

You Need To Know:

  • Kurt’s retirement will shock few as the former driver of the No. 45 Monster Energy Toyota for 23XI Racing suffered a brutal hit to the rear of the car during a qualifying crash at Pocono Raceway last year. This would be the last time we’d ever see Kurt in a NASCAR Cup Series car as he would be diagnosed with a concussion. The 2022 schedule for the No. 45 for the remainder of the season would be filled out by current rookie-of-the-year candidate, Ty Gibbs and Kurt’s teammate, Bubba Wallace respectively. Heading into the 2023 season with Kurt still not being cleared, it was announced that Tyler Reddick would be released from his RCR contract early and would take over the ride. The team has won once at COTA and is locked into the NASCAR Playoffs which are set to kick off in a week’s time.
  • Late last year, Kurt Busch announced at his home track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that he was retiring from full-time Cup Series competition. However, he emphasized that he still had hoped to return to the series with 23XI at a part-time capacity at some point in the 2023 season. Unable to do so and still feeling that he cannot get back in the physical shape required to be a full-time athlete at NASCAR’s highest level, he has decided to call it a career, citing father time as one of the key factors. He also noted that he had been suffering from arthritis for as long as he could remember which was only one of his nagging injuries. Even in his press conference in Daytona, Kurt still appeared hopeful that he would get cleared someday and could return to racing in the lower ranks of NASCAR. In the meantime, he will continue to work closely with 23XI Racing, assisting in developing the talents of Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick.
  • As the news broke, fans offered their support and well wishes for Kurt Busch and his family and friends. It wasn’t an unexpected announcement but it was a sad one, nonetheless, as fans thanked Kurt for a career and looked back on some of his finest career moments.

In his official announcement, Kurt did say that the ultimate goal is still to get back into a racecar. It just will not be at the highest level in motorsports. Thank you, Kurt Busch, from all of us here at the Daily Downforce. It was a great ride!

The Main Characters

Kurt Busch has been the focus of this developing story since Pocono of last year. In the full press conference below with video provided by Noah Lewis, Kurt commented that he feels positive about the changes NASCAR has made in areas of safety.

23XI is also a key factor in this story. Kurt Busch initially signed a two-year contract with the organization to compete in 2022 and ’23. While there’s much uncertainty in that camp right now, team owner Denny Hamlin said that there will always be a place for Kurt within the organization. He caught up with Noah Lewis as well at the Daytona media center.

Around The Garage

Kurt’s younger brother and 2x NASCAR Cup Series Champion, Kyle Busch, tweeted this heartfelt tribute. He will miss the opportunity to race against his brother on a weekly basis.

Kurt’s former teammate from when the two raced for Chip Ganassi Racing, Ross Chastain, tweeted his tribute.

Kurt Busch’s former team, with whom he won the Daytona 500, Stewart-Haas Racing tweeted their appreciation to one of the all-time greats.

Former racer and team owner for Trackhouse, Justin Marks, says his congratulations.

Kaulig Racing also got in on the applause.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. replied to Kurt’s original video announcing his retirement. Dale says that the most remarkable thing about Kurt Busch is how he elevated every team he ran with.

Roush-Yates Engines CEO, Doug Yates, son of the late Robert Yates also congratulates Kurt on his fantastic driving career.

A team he drove for many years ago, Penske, thanks Kurt for all his contributions to their organization and the sport of NASCAR! They’re looking forward to seeing what comes next. Hey, we all are.

Future NASCAR driver and Kurt’s nephew, Brexton, tweeted his emotional tribute.

Long-time sponsor for Kurt, Monster Energy, also took time to thank their long-tenured spokesperson.

At the conclusion of the driver’s meeting on Saturday evening, all the press and drivers alike gave Kurt a standing ovation. The video is provided by mastery journalist, Dustin Long.

From The Officials

NASCAR also took the time to thank Kurt for the long list of contributions he has made to our sport.

They even put together their own little video package to honor the more memorable highlights of his career.

In The Stands

NASCAR Sh1tposter tweeted this video. Feels, bro, feels.

Timecard100 pointed out that Kurt’s last race in the NASCAR Cup Series was at New Hampshire. He also provides some key statistics that should make him a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Karleen tweets her tribute to the great Kurt Busch.

Gregory Howe tweets his thanks for Kurt’s general kindness to his wife as they met him at Richmond.

Shane Mundy says “thanks for a career” to a childhood hero. That’s always tough to do.

Jessica Seiwert also thanks Kurt as he made her fall in love with the sport all over again.

Jamie K wishes Kurt a happy retirement and tweets this picture, commenting on a “hell of a career”.

TruLu’s first favorite driver was Kurt Busch. They got to meet him at Michigan a couple of years ago where they snapped this awesome picture.

Lisa_48 is saddened by the news but grateful she was able to see him win at Pocono in 2016. #ThankYouKurt

On Your Screen

Our friend and host of Out of the Groove, Eric Estepp, tweeted this video of the standing ovation Kurt received as he formally announced his retirement in the Daytona Media Center.

One of my favorite NASCAR YouTubers, Daniel Kriete tweeted this heart-warming tribute.

From The Pressbox

FOX Sports’ Bob Pockrass tweeted a video of Kurt’s opening statement as he formally announced his retirement.

Yeah, that’s me. #ThankYouKurt on an amazing career.

We at the Daily Downforce would like to thank Kurt Busch for a remarkable career. Here’s to the future! Keep it right here for all the latest news and stories in the world of NASCAR!

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Cody Williams

Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
All Posts