With his win at the AdventHealth 400 back in May, 23XI Racing driver Kurt Busch qualified for the NASCAR Cup playoffs. But with injuries keeping him off the tracks for the next few weeks leading up to the tournament, Busch has had to make a big decision on his short-term future.
On Thursday, Busch announced that he has realized he cannot compete for a championship in his condition. As a result, he is withdrawing his waiver request to race and will skip the NASCAR Cup playoffs.
"I respect the sport of NASCAR, my fellow drivers and the fans too much to take up a playoff spot if I know I can't compete for a championship," Busch said.
NASCAR fans on Twitter have been a combination of grateful and sad at the news. Many are showing Busch respect for being willing to give up his seat for a more fit driver, while others are sad to see that he has to withdraw at all.
The 44-year-old Kurt Busch won his first Cup Series title back in 2004. In a 23-year career in the NASCAR Cup Series, Busch has 34 wins, 339 top 10s and 28 poles in 776 races.
So when Michael Jordan's 23XI Racing decided to add Busch to their team, it was seen as a major coup for the rising organization.
But it appears that their first real competitor in the NASCAR Cup playoffs won't be happening this year.
Will Kurt Busch return to the playoffs in 2023?