Kurt Busch’s career in the NASCAR Cup Series is over.
The 2004 Cup champion announced Saturday that he is “officially retiring” from NASCAR’s top level. Busch has not raced since suffering a concussion during a crash at Pocono in July 2022.
Busch, 45, said in October that he would not return full-time to NASCAR in 2023 but hoped to run a handful of races if he was medically cleared. Busch was dealing with the long-term effects of a concussion after his car crashed into the outside wall at the exit of turn three at Pocono.
“Racing requires 100% focus, heart, stamina and determination, and I’ve never raced without all of that in mind,” Busch said in his retirement video. “But sometimes dad time can catch up with your dreams. My amazing team of doctors and I have come to the conclusion that at this point in my recovery, there are so many hurdles I have to overcome and get back to 100%.
Bush finished his career with 34 wins in 776 career starts. He has won a race in all but two of his 22 full-time Cup Series seasons and has won exactly one race in each of his last seven seasons.
Busch won the 2004 title in only his fourth season at the highest level in NASCAR. After a winless rookie season, he won eight races during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. He scored three wins and 21 top-ten finishes in 2004 as he became the first driver to win a title in NASCAR’s postseason format. NASCAR introduced the Chase for the Cup in 2004 in which the top 10 drivers in the standings after 26 races competed for the last 10 title races.
Busch won the first clincher race and finished in the top ten of eight of the remaining nine races en route to the title over Jimmy Johnson by eight points.