“My long term health is priority number one,” said Kurt Busch.

Choosing to make his announcement at a track where he spent a great deal of his childhood, Kurt Busch told the gathered crowd at the NASCAR press center that he has not been cleared by the doctors after suffering from a concussion during qualifying at Pocono Raceway on July 23 and would not be racing anymore for the 2022 racing season.

In addition, Busch stated that he is officially retiring from full time driving beginning with the 2023 season; adding that Tyler Reddick would be moving over a year earlier to 23XI Racing to take over driving of the number 45 car.  Busch added that he hopes to run some races in the future.

Ty Gibbs will finish out the 2022 season driving for 34XI in Busch’s stead. 

Speaking on his decision, the 2004 Cup Series champion said that he had no regrets and was looking forward to sharing some of unofficial PhD’s he has learned in his 22 year racing career.  Busch did not specify what form that sharing may take whether it is as a member of the broadcast crew or a part of 23XI.  Busch did note that he is looking forward to spending time with 23XI drivers Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick.

Busch’s career highlights include 34 career wins including a Daytona 500.  He has raced and won in every manufacturer – Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, and Toyota – during his racing career.  He has driven for some of the biggest names in ownership including Jack Roush, Roger Penske, Stewart-Haas and Chip Ganassi.

NASCAR President Steve Phelps issued a statement on Kurt Busch saying, “for more than two decades, we have been privileged to watch Kurt Busch compete.  He has proven himself a champion on the racetrack, but perhaps just as importantly, he has grown to become a true ambassador for the sport. Kurt’s drive to improve the future of motorsports has set him apart. We are thrilled that he’ll remain in our sport as a leader and trusted resource. Kurt’s unparalleled passion for racing gives us hope that we will see him in a race car again.”

Busch’s announcement is another of the puzzle pieces to fall into place for next season that began even before the season began when M&M’s announced that the 2022 racing season would be their last as a sponsor for the number 18 car driven by Kurt’s younger brother Kyle Busch.  As it just so happened, it was also the final season of Kyle’s contract in the number 18 car with Joe Gibbs Racing. 

Over the summer Tyler Reddick made the announcement that he had signed a deal to drive for 23XI Racing beginning with the 2024 season.

Even though Toyota and car owner Joe Gibbs expressed a desire to keep Kyle Busch in the number 18 car, it never came to fruition and Busch eventually signed with Richard Childress Racing to drive the number eight car which was being driven by Tyler Reddick.

With the announcement of Kurt Busch stepping away from the number 45 car, it has paved the way for Tyler Reddick to take over driving of the number 45.  RCR has given Reddick his release to move over to 23XI and will begin focusing on preparing for Kyle Busch to take over in the number eight car next season.