Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Latest Statement on Kurt Busch Won’t Be Music to Any NASCAR Fan’s Ears

Published 08/23/2022, 1:25 PM EDT
Feb 16, 2022; Daytona, FL, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kurt Busch (45) during qualifying for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

23XI Racing driver Kurt Busch has been out of action for five straight races, and will soon be missing his sixth. This was after Busch had a wreck in qualifying at Pocono that resulted in concussion-like symptoms. As a result, he has elected to sit out for a number of races and focus on his recovery.

In light of this, Dale Earnhardt Jr. spoke about what the #45 driver is going through.


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He said, “I think the similarities between my situation in ’16 and his are very similar. There’s just no known time when this thing’s going to come together for him.”


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Dale Jr has had to deal with concussion issues before, so he can sympathize with Kurt Busch.

Kurt Busch will have to return to racing, eventually

Obviously, the #45 driver knows that he will have to get back behind the wheel sometime. This is because he has qualified for the Playoffs, and his absence might just be strategic.

To be precise, the 2004 NASCAR Cup Series champion will be trying to make sure that he is fully fit for the first round of the Playoffs.


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DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 15: Kurt Busch, driver of the #45 Monster Energy Toyota, drives during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series 64th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 15, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Another factor is that his age can be an issue because he is well into his 40s. So one has to wonder whether it is time for the veteran driver to retire from racing. One can interpret this prolonged absence as a warning sign that it may be time for Kurt Busch to hang up his boots.

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For the moment, it looks like 23XI Racing has some backup plans in place.

To be exact, they re-signed Bubba Wallace on a multi-year contract and roped in Tyler Reddick for the 2024 season. Truthfully, Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan would love to retain Kurt Busch and possibly field three cars. However, no one knows what the future looks like and what it means for the team and Busch.



Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

Edited By: Ranvijay Singh