Kurt Busch and his team, 23XI Racing, have withdrawn their playoff waiver request, Jeff Gluck of The Athletic reports. This comes just after a concussion saw him sit out several NASCAR Cup Series races.
Busch scored one win during the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series regular season, which kept him in the Playoff picture despite his extended absence. Now, that absence will continue into the Playoffs.
During the final round of qualifying for July’s Pocono event, Busch suffered a hard crash in Turn 3 and later announced that he was not medically cleared to compete due to “concussion-like” symptoms. Those symptoms persisted, and Busch prioritized his health by stepping back from competition. He was replaced by 19-year-old Ty Gibbs during that time.
“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,” Busch said. “The decision was not an easy one, but I know it is the right thing to do.”
NASCAR has confirmed that Busch’s withdrawal opens up an additional spot for a driver to make it into the Playoffs. The Playoff battle has been hotly contested this year, with many drivers believing they’d have to secure a win to guarantee their spot in the pursuit for a championship. Now, with just one race remaining before the Playoffs, a second slot has opened. This means one driver can make it into the Playoffs on points, not requiring a win.
23XI’s No. 45 car, however, is still eligible for owner Playoffs.