Kurt Bosch withdraws from NASCAR qualifiers with head injury

Kurt Busch won’t be returning to the NASCAR racetrack in the near future. 23XI Racing announced Thursday morning that the #45 Toyota 23XI driver is withdrawing from qualifying and will miss the start of the season.

The team did not specify exactly how many qualifying races Bosch would miss, but he did not participate in the last five games of the Cup series.

Besides missing more races, the 44-year-old is withdrawing from the NASCAR competition, giving the remaining ineligible drivers an additional opportunity to make the cut for the 16 drivers, 10 races, scheduled to begin Sept. 4 with the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Bosch, the 2004 Cup champion, has not raced since July 17 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The following weekend at Pocono Raceway, Bush spun and hit a wall hard during the qualifying round and was able to get out of the car on his own. However, he has not been medically allowed to return to racing and has previously indicated that he has “concussion-like symptoms”.

he is too previously announced That he won’t be competing this weekend at the end of the regular season at Daytona International Speedway, marking the sixth straight race to miss.

More via 23XI Racing on Thursday:

“As much as I wanted and hope to be able to get back into the #45 car for a playoff with our team, it’s still not a good time for me,” said Busch. “In addition to not being allowed to go back to racing, I know I’m not ready to get back in the car. I respect the sport of NASCAR, my fellow drivers and the fans so much for taking a place in a playoff if I knew I couldn’t compete for the championship this season. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I I know it’s the right thing to do. I will continue to take time to heal and strengthen as I prepare to get back in the car and will do everything in my power to help 23XI continue the success we have had this season.”

With Busch on the sidelines, 19-year-old Xfinity Series driver Ty Gibbs — grandson of NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs — has been filling the wheel of the #45 Toyota and will continue to do so.

As we wrote recently, this is a terrible situation for the injured Bush, but he should be commended for his transparency about his head injury in a sport where concealment has often been the norm.

After winning at Kansas Speedway in May, Bush qualified for the 10-race playoffs. Although he hasn’t entered every race since his injury, NASCAR has granted him a medical waiver to keep him eligible in a tight post-season game.

But NASCAR confirmed that 23XI is withdrawing the waiver request, and the governing body added in its own statement:

“Kurt Bosch has been able to manage this difficult situation like the champ that he is. Working closely with his doctors, every decision made has been in the best interests of his health, his competitors and the sport. Kurt has NASCAR’s full support as he continues to recover, and we look forward to seeing him return to a car Race “.

Before Busch’s and NASCAR’s announcement on Thursday, there were 15 different winners in the race this season, which means 15 drivers qualify for the 16 break points available.

But with 23XI pulling the medicinal waters, there is now an extra place available in a drivers’ playoff rather than one who has the chance this weekend to qualify for post-season, in a bid to compete for a championship in November at Phoenix Raceway.

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