Kurt Busch Leaving NASCAR Due To Lingering Concussion Issues

Kurt Busch is calling it a NASCAR career after missing most of this season with a concussion.

Busch, the 2004 Cup Series champion, announced his decision to step away from racing next season in a series of Twitter posts Saturday, saying he could not compete at 100% any longer.

While Busch didn't fully use the word "retire," he gave no timetable for a possible return. He did say he could return to "select races" if he's cleared.

Busch hasn't raced since mid-July after suffering a concussion while qualifying at Pocono. The 20-year vet has been trying to return for months now, even seeking the help of the medical team that worked with Dale Earnhardt Jr.

While he's made strides - including returning to the track for the first time last weekend to sit atop the pit box - he admitted Saturday he's still "not feeling my best."

"The doctors have come to the conclusion that it is best for me to "shut it down" for this season," he said. "As I continue to focus on my health ... I will be stepping away from full-time NASCAR Cup Series competition in 2023."

Here's the full thread:

Kurt Busch won the NASCAR Cup Series championship in 2004

Busch, 44, won his one and only Cup title in 2004. He's raced full time in NASCAR's highest series since 2001, winning 34 career races. Busch has won at least one race a season every year since 2014, and went just three seasons without winning a race.

Busch spent much of the later portion of his career with both Stewart-Haas Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing, but signed with 23XI Racing - the team owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin - ahead of this season.

Busch won at Kansas back in May, and was locked into the NASCAR playoffs before missing time with the concussion. He was initially granted a waiver to return for the postseason, but he announced in August he would not be able to.

Ty Gibbs, the grandson of longtime owner Joe Gibbs, filled in for Busch most of the summer. Bubba Wallace, Busch's 23XI teammate, took over Busch's No. 45 Toyota when the playoffs started so the team could run for an Owner's championship.

Busch isn't the only driver to suffer a concussion this season. Alex Bowman has missed the past two races, and will miss at least the next three, after suffering a concussion during a crash at Texas last month.

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Zach grew up in Florida, lives in Florida, and will never leave Florida ... for obvious reasons. He's a reigning fantasy football league champion, knows everything there is to know about NASCAR, and once passed out (briefly!) during a lap around Daytona. He swears they were going 200 mph even though they clearly were not.