Kurt Busch, who shot to racing superstardom as one of the leading NASCAR drivers of his generation, announced his retirement from Cup Series racing on Saturday (Aug. 26), ending his career with 34 Cup Series wins.

NASCAR's official site reports that the 45-year-old racing legend announced his decision in the media center at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, at an event stacked with NASCAR officials and fellow race drivers that included his brother, Kyle Busch.

“As I transition out of the driver’s seat, I can’t help but feel incredibly blessed to have spent the amount of time I did as a driver in NASCAR, and I could never have imagined that growing up as a blue-collar kid from Las Vegas,” Busch said in announcing his news. “So many people have been part of my journey. I want to thank the fans, my family, friends, sponsors and team members. Thanks to everyone who has taught me the different things around the motorsports world, and also for those who have had to put up with me. And I want to just thank again, everyone that continues to push me to strive for success in this sport. It’s time for a new journey, and I’m excited to get started.”

Busch has not raced since suffering a concussion in a crash at Pocono Raceway on July 23, 2022. He has remained active with his 23XI Racing team in a consulting role and as a mentor. He said on Saturday that he is still not fully recovered, but hopes to be able to race again in some capacity someday.

"Again, it’s not one moment that’s led to this,” Busch stated. “It’s a few different factors, and my body is having a battle with Father Time. I’ve had arthritis ever since I can remember. My gout has flared up so much that I can barely walk on some days. Just pushing to get through physical therapy and to continue the workouts. I remember last summer, I was trying to not show that emotion and I barely could even walk to the car at Dover, because I had to have some shots pre-race just so that I could move my knee and move my feet. Those are those moments where things were starting to add up before things happened at Pocono."

“So, Father Time. I’m 45 years old. I’m very happy, complacent, and there’s nothing that I look back on and regret about having this opportunity at the top level of NASCAR.”

“There’s plenty of stories and fun and wins and losses,” he added. “But thank you to NASCAR for giving me a fair shake at this. There’s a bunch of cool trophies at the house, lots of memories, and I hope to give back in all the ways that I can moving forward.”

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