Kurt Busch has been out of the NASCAR Cup Series since his qualifying crash at Pocono Raceway in the 2022 season, but that’s not his choice. Busch suffered a concussion in the crash and still has lingering symptoms.
The 44-year-old driver continues his recovery process as the #45 car circles the track without him. In fact, Busch made the decision to retire from full-time racing and that allowed Tyler Reddick to join 23XI Racing a year earlier than expected.
Busch was in the FOX Sports pit when Reddick won his first race with 23XI Racing and got emotional. It was supposed to be his farewell season alongside Kevin Harvick; however, his journey has been different and it is not over yet.
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Kurt Busch Provides Good Updates On Return To NASCAR, Concussion Recovery
Busch has been making slow progress since suffering a concussion at Pocono Raceway. No one expected to see the former 23XI Racing driver on the sidelines during the 2023 NASCAR season, but he made the most of it.
From mentoring young Toyota drivers to joining the FOX Sports Booth for certain races, Busch remained loyal to NASCAR and got involved when it would be very easy for him to walk away for good.
It’s good to see former NASCAR Cup Series champions staying involved in the sport; however, there appears to be growing optimism that Busch could return to the racing series at some point during the 2023 or 2024 season if medically cleared.
Ahead of the Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway last weekend, Busch spoke to The Associated Press and gave several updates on his recovery from injuries and the idea of returning to NASCAR as soon as possible.
” I feel much better. The improvements I have made have been huge… The hardest part is getting my body tired, going through the physical therapy. Having a day, a day off, things in my body are much more sensitive. I push (to get back to NASCAR). It’s just the little things that add up. »
Kurt Busch on his recovery and return to NASCAR
It’s a very positive update from Busch as he’s starting to feel better every day. In fact, the former NASCAR driver also said he worked in the simulator and drove a powerboat at an event for a sponsor.
There is certainly progress from Busch’s side and that’s good to see in and of itself. The NASCAR aspect is not the priority as his health remains the No. 1 priority; however, he is certainly improving enough that a comeback could become a reality.
If Busch is cleared and can return to the Cup Series in 2023, which race would make the most sense for his return? Read on to find out the three ideal events for Busch this season.
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3 ideal races for Kurt Busch to make his 2023 NASCAR debut if medically cleared
Busch still has a long way to go in his recovery, but there is certainly significant progress. With work in the simulator and his body feeling better, a return to NASCAR doesn’t seem as unlikely as it did a few months ago.
The Chicago Street Course would be a good race for Busch to make his 2023 NASCAR debut if medically cleared. Busch helped promote the event and may feel inclined to return if enough progress is made by July.
Busch hasn’t won on a road course since his time with Team Penske, but it’s not about winning the event. The idea of just returning to a track where NASCAR is going to make history would be pretty good on the surface.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway would also be a great option for Busch’s return. The former NASCAR driver hails from Las Vegas, NV, and returning to the track in his hometown would be very meaningful to him and his family.
It is a 1.5 mile track and is the last type of race Busch won in the NASCAR Cup Series during the 2022 season with 23XI Racing. In fact, it leads to another race that would represent a quality spot for Busch’s return to NASCAR.
Busch’s last victory came at Kansas Speedway and that’s why this could be a great lead for his potential comeback. Just like in Las Vegas, the race would take place in the fall, so he would have plenty of time to continue his recovery.
Kansas was also overwhelmingly positive for Toyota again as Denny Hamlin won two weeks ago against Kyle Larson. As stated above, it’s not about winning, but it would be nice to see Busch running well on his return.
There’s no rush for Busch to return, but it certainly promises to hear his comments from Darlington Raceway. For now, the NASCAR garage will continue to enjoy Busch’s presence while hoping he can get back to what he loves most.