Race Weekend Central

Kurt Busch Will Miss Beginning of Playoffs, Waiver Withdrawn

Kurt Busch will miss the start of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, and as a result, 23XI Racing has withdrawn its request for a playoff waiver for the No. 45.

Busch’s withdrawal means two playoff spots will be available this weekend at Daytona International Speedway.

“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,” Busch tweeted. “In addition to not being cleared to return to racing, I know that I am not ready to be back in the car.”

An exact timetable for Busch’s return was not disclosed.

Ty Gibbs will continue to fill in for Busch at the races during which he is unavailable.

About the author

Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.

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toyota out toyota in

Bill B

So unless there is a new winner both Blaney and Truex will fill the remaining two spots. How heartbroken the NBC staff must be, the whole playoff bubble drama deal will be moot.


You forget the Bubba angle… Plenty of drama to build up and harp on during the Daytona race.

Hate to see Kurt’s career come to an end like this. As he grew older, he matured (unlike little brother) and I actually came around to like him. I’m gonna say it and ya’ll can fight me about it – Kurt was able to do what I don’t think Gordon nor Johnson could ever do, and that is win for multiple underdog teams. No doubt he is a great wheelman, but he also has to be a great personality manager / team builder / team leader in order to pull that kind if performance from teams who had never had that level of success prior. I think Jeff and Jimmie are great drivers when given the right equipment/team, but I don’t think they could win in a 2nd or 3rd tier environment, especially not as quickly and consistently as Kurt has in many instances.

I was hoping he might try a season or two in Indycar like Jimmie has – he seemed to adapt really quick in his single attempt at the Indy 500 – finishing 6th. With the length of recovery for this incident he’d be a fool to get in a racecar again. The next time will be even worse.

Bill B

Re: “I don’t think Gordon nor Johnson could ever do, and that is win for multiple underdog teams.”

We will never know will we, because they never got the opportunity.

I think a more interesting conversation would be what could have been had he not had so many issues with top tier teams that forced him to always start over in second tier teams. Many more wins and at least another championship or two IMO.


Yeah, I had to wiki all the teams he has driven for to remember – the list was too long! He did a lot of damage to his own career early on. Arguably the best thing that ever happened to him was when that woman tried to ruin him. That is the turning point where he seemed to really mature and became tolerable afterwards. It coincided with his switch to SHR, which really should have netted him another Championship (if Tony and Harvick could do it…). Then CGR, and now 23XL. At least the departure from SHR and CGR appeared to be on good terms?

But yeah, to be kicked out of both Roush (who was good at the time) and Penske says something. At least brother Kyle only got booted from one top tier team (HMS). Timing was off with Furniture Row – says a lot that Truex came in and had great success there right after Kurt left.

Bill B

The difference is Kyle got picked up by another top tier team when he left HMS. And I agree about Truex and Furniture Row, Kurt should get a lot of credit for setting that team in the right direction.


Please explain to me what “underdog” teams Kurt Busch won for?

His Cup wins were with Roush (in their prime), Penske, Stewart/Haas, Ganasi and 23XI. Ganasi may not have been a Penske or Hendricks, but they surely weren’t an underdog team, in sponsorship, equipment, or talent. The only underdogs he drove for were Barney Visser and James Finch, and he never won driving for either of them.


Let’s not lose site of the concussion issue. I officiate high school sports and one of the top neurosurgeons in the area at one time was a football official. He, in one of my last longer conversations with him before his death, said we had learned more about what we didn’t know about the brain and concussions in the last 8 years than in his career.
We don’t know how many times Kurt was concussed. NASCAR should require, and may already, a baseline brain-function test before granting anyone a license.
This is a difficult and long return for him, even if it never happens. (My thought is he will not return). This isn’t about Toyota, Gibbs, MJ, NASCAR, or Arnold who drove by Gibbs facility last Wednesday and saw a person unknown leaving the facility.
I hope the best for Kurt. Period

Kathleen Kulesza

I’ve watched Nascar since the late 90’s. Concussions ruined some drivers careers. Remember Jerry Nadeau and Steve Park? Kurt needs to focus on life after racing.

Carl D.

Sad… especially for Kurt, but for the whole team as well.  In a year with so much parity, the #45 team had as good a chance as most teams at winning the championship, and now they won’t even compete for it.  That’s gotta hurt.

Here’s hoping for better news for Kurt as his recovery continues.

Last edited 1 year ago by Carl D.
Dale EarnHog

This will just make everyone from 17th to 30th(plus Lajoie) evenmore desperate to win Saturday night. Truex and co will have to get back to the drawing board and reconfigure their strategy big time. Shame for Kurt though. As much as I want him to come back, I don’t want him to end up like Jr, who was a Playoff driver before his last concussion and a shell of himself afterwards. I want Kurt to race next year, but not in a way that would taint his legacy.


It will be interesting to see how NA$CAR steers the narrative for this event. There is no way NA$CAR or the network want Bubba to be one of the disappearing ones for the last 10 events. There is a good chance for rain at Daytona this time of year. My guess is Bubba “wins” the event and Marty gets in when Blaney gets taken out. I’m sure NA$CAR and the network would prefer to have a Reverend Joe car and the Bubba 23XI car get in.

Dale EarnHog

You must go through a lot of tinfoil considering how many hats you have made out of it.


Really not any Nascar conspiracies? How about Danica winning the pole for her first Daytona 500 and never coming close to winning a pole anywhere again. The first race back for the #3 and Dillion wins pole. Dale Jr. winning first race back at Daytona after 01 500. Dodge winning the pole for 500 the first year back in the sport. There are a lot more examples but you are right never any instances to make a person go hmm.
Remember it is a business first, and business is to make money.

Dale EarnHog

I’m not saying there’s not any. But what I am saying is that this guy posts a conspiracy about Bubba or something else nearly every time he comments.


Just a conspiracy all along to get Preacher Joe’s last team in.

Dale EarnHog

So every time something good happens to a team you don’t like, it’s a conspiracy?


Have you been paying attention since Brian took over?


Why do continually refer to Brian France? He has zero involvement in NASCAR and hasn’t since 2018.


Right Brian France doesn’t say a word about how things in Nascar run. It is only his family that own Nascar and most of the tracks. And his Uncle, sister and nephew run the whole show. He never talks them I’m sure. Because they are all honest and would surely tell us if Brian was involved. Since he is so popular.


He runs a financial investment company. But keep your tinfoil hat on and spin your ridiculous conspiracy theories.


Have you paid attention to Brian’s “brilliant” decisions since he got his new toy to play with? Have you paid attention to the “brilliant” decisions made by his sycophants since he “left”? Do they remind you of anyone?


A picture won’t even help some. Instantly my gut told me, they are going to try to get bubba the win, why wouldn’t they. Guess we will see but I sure hope we are both wrong big time.


Talking to myself. Someone who has to be a clone of Brian is running nascar. Nobody on this board can say with certainty, who is actually running nascar. Just think about that, then look at all the dumb ideas and changes they have made after Brian left. Looks like the same stupid things to me. Time after time. Just a coincidence I guess.

Dale EarnHog

Brian hasn’t been involved in the sport for 4 years now, that’s a moot point.

Tom B

Does this website have any Bubba Wallace fans? Most people don’t care about your sex or race. The unspoken truth is nobody wants diversity/inclusiveness shoved down their throat. Example: Everybody likes this editor.

Bill B

Amen. I really have nothing against Bubba but…. “nobody wants diversity/inclusiveness shoved down their throat.”


Danica 2.0

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