Kurt Busch Jun 4, 2022; Madison, Illinois, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kurt Busch (45) looks on during Nascar Cup qualifying at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. Mandatory Credit: Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

Kurt Busch’s recovery from a concussion suffered last month has unfortunately reached the NASCAR postseason and Busch announced that he will forego his playoff waiver and free up his spot to someone else. Ty Gibbs will remain in the car while the #45 23XI Racing Toyota will remain in the playoffs for the Owner’s Championship.

In a statement, Busch detailed the difficult decision to step away from the car and miss out on a chance at a NASCAR Cup Series championship.

“As much as I wanted and hoped to be able to get back in the No. 45 car to make a playoff run with our team, it’s still not the right time for me. In addition to not being cleared to return to racing, I know that I am not ready to be back in the car.

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 this season. The decision was not an easy one, but I know it is the right thing to do.

I will continue to take time to heal and strengthen as I prepare to be back in the car, and will do all I can to help 23XI continue the success we have had this season.”

It’s unfortunate but Kurt knows his health comes first and if he’s still not feeling it, it’s a responsible and mature decision to step aside.

This means that in this Saturday night’s regular season finale, there are now two playoff spots up for grabs at Daytona. Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. are now in on points and are safe as long as a playoff driver wins. If someone from 17th-30th in points wins, which is entirely possible at Daytona, suddenly it becomes a fight between Blaney and Truex to be ahead of the other in points for the final spot. Blaney has a 25 point lead over Truex.

[Kurt Busch]

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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