Friday, Sep 22

2004 Champion Kurt Busch Retires from NASCAR

2004 Champion Kurt Busch Retires from NASCAR NK Photography Photo

45-year-old driver Kurt Busch has announced his retirement from NASCAR via an emotional video posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, during which he showed his appreciation towards friends, family, and former team members who helped him achieve a great deal over the course of his 23 years in the sport.

Busch won the 2004 points championship, and though that was the only title of his career, a mark of his consistency can be found in the number of times he achieved a top-ten finish, something the Las Vegas-born driver managed on nine occasions.

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Busch competed in 776 NASCAR races and clearly felt the time was right to walk away, stating rather honestly;

"Sometimes father time can catch up to your dreams,"

"My incredible team of doctors and I have come to the conclusion that at this point in my recovery, there are just too many obstacles for me to overcome and get back to 100%.”

"So after 23 years behind the wheel and 45 years of living and breathing this dream, I am officially announcing my retirement from NASCAR Cup Series competition," Busch added.

Another mark of Busch’s excellent driving record comes in the form of an interesting stat that shows that he was victorious in at least one race for 19 of the last 21 seasons and completed his career at joint-25th on the all-time wins list, alongside Martin Truex Jr.

Busch has been suffering from the ongoing effects of a concussion he experienced during a qualifying event last summer. In February, he gave this assessment of his physical state;

“When you look at the therapist, and he’s looking back at you, there’s work to be done,”

“That’s really all I can give you.”

“Go-karting has been fine for me, the simulator has been fine,”

“It’s just when I had my head in the headrest, and there’s that movement that bothers me,” Busch added.

And some six months later, it appears that the driver felt his body was telling him to call it a day. No doubt the decision was a hard one to make, but given the likely discussions he’s had with medical professionals, it’s undoubtedly the right one.

Busch’s explanation of how the crash unfolded and how he coped with the imminent collision is a sobering proposition and a great insight into the trials, travails, and tests that racing car drivers go through;

“The wreck might not look like it wasn’t that violent. But primal fear is — I leaned forward knowing I was backing into the fence,”

“If you feel fear coming from behind, you lean away. So I exaggerated the hit by leaning forward and that 30 G’s backward was something I never felt before. I don’t remember the right front hit. That’s when things got serious in the infield care center.”

Kurt will remain at 23XI in some role or other; one that he currently favors is the Captain of Fun Department, adding about his position with the team;

“Whatever it means is whatever it means, but I’ve enjoyed working with all of the departments and being that extra set of eyes and helping our team advance so that we can win more races, be more competitive, and have shots at winning championships,”

“I want to give back to the team.”


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