Kurt Busch celebrates Kentucky win, 2019 via NASCAR YouTube, screenshot

Former NASCAR champion Kurt Busch announced his retirement from racing at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, marking the end of a long and decorated career.

Kurt Busch via Noah Lewis YouTube, screenshot

The 45-year-old, who won the NASCAR championship in 2004 and the Daytona 500 in 2017, cited health concerns, including a significant concussion from last season, as the main reason for his decision.

“My body is battling with Father Time,” Busch said, noting arthritis and gout among his challenges. Not particularly fun ailments when you need your body to move with speed and precision at 200 mph.

Watch his official announcement below:

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The Las Vegas native experienced a life-altering concussion after a crash at Pocono Raceway last summer, raising concerns about the Next Gen cars’ safety. Following several rear-impact collisions in 2022, NASCAR took steps in the offseason to modify the car design.

Busch, with 34 race wins in his 23-year Cup Series career, mentioned ongoing recovery from his concussion. “I continue to show improvements,” he stated, leaving open the possibility of returning to the track in the future.

His brother, Kyle Busch, and several NASCAR executives and drivers, including Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick, attended the announcement.

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Busch will transition to a consultant role with 23XI Racing and Toyota, sharing his expertise with emerging racers. He emphasized the rigorous demands of racing at NASCAR’s top tier and his current inability to meet them consistently.

“Racing at NASCAR’s highest level requires every bit of focus, heart, stamina and determination,” Busch said. “And I know right now I can’t give what’s required to compete at that level week in and week out.”

Over 23 years in the Cup Series, Busch secured 34 victories in 776 races, leaving behind many moments that will live in the hearts of NASCAR fans for generations to come.

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