Daytona Beach, FL — August 26, 2022
As preparations ramp up for the NASCAR Cup Series regular-season finale Saturday, August 27th, at Daytona International Speedway. A major announcement has changed the face of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
Kurt Busch won the Advent Health 400 at Kansas in May and qualified for the playoffs. He suffered concussion-like symptoms after a crash in practice at Pocono and has not raced since that event, July 24.
Busch originally hoped to be back in the 23XI car before the start of the postseason. He was granted a waiver from NASCAR that would allow him to compete for the Cup title despite missing races. He now realizes he cannot be competitive and has withdrawn his waiver request.
This opens up an additional spot in the 16 qualifying positions, as 14 drivers are locked in with wins. Ryan Blaney and Martin Treux Jr. were battling for the final spot pending the outcome of the Coke Zero Sugar 400 tomorrow at Daytona. With Busch’s withdrawal, it will now be possible for both to get in on points. If there is not a new name added to the 2022 winner’s list Saturday night.
Kurt Busch Statement
“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 for me. In addition to not being cleared to return to racing, I know I am not ready to be in the car.”
“I respect the sport of NASCAR, my fellow drivers, and the fans too much to take up a playoff spot if I know I can’t compete for a championship this season. The decision was not an easy one, but I know it is the right thing to do.”
“I will continue to take time to heal and strengthen as I prepare to be back in the car and will do all I can to help 23XI continue the success we have had this season.”