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For the last few months, Kurt Busch has sat back and watched the fans and media speculate about the future of his younger brother Kyle at Joe Gibbs Racing. No one has talked about the 43-year-old’s future until recently when 23XI Racing announced Tyler Reddick was joining the organization in 2024 and it was unclear if he would drive a third car or replace one of the current drivers in Busch or Bubba Wallace.  

This week the 2004 Cup Series champion made an appearance on CBS Mornings to talk about the announcement of a street course race in Chicago. The veteran driver talked about the 12-turn layout and how he drove the circuit in a rental car, and then surprised the show’s hosts with a remark about retirement.

Kurt Busch has raced to Hall of Fame-worthy career

Kurt Busch is destined for the NASCAR Hall of Fame when his racing days are over. In his 22 full-time seasons, he’s tallied some pretty impressive numbers.

He’s collected 34 Cup wins during that time, including a couple of crown jewels in the 2010 Coca-Cola 600 and 2017 Daytona 500. While he won the season championship in 2004, which included three trophies, he set a single-season career-best mark with four wins each the two seasons before.

Incredibly, Busch has maintained a high level of racing for two-plus decades, which has included one win in each of the last nine seasons. What’s interesting is he’s been able to do it with a variety of teams and with all of the current manufacturers — Toyota, Ford, and Chevrolet. 

Kurt Busch promoting Chicago race and drops hint on retirement

As they say, all good things must come to an end. With that mindset, no one would be surprised if Busch announced his retirement at any point. Interestingly, this week during an appearance on CBS to promote next year’s Chicago street course race, the 23XI Racing driver made a surprising remark about his future that caught the show’s hosts by surprise.

“It’s to create the buzz for not just the city, but for our sport,” Busch said of the race. “It creates this ticket that people want to come and be part of and just be part of this. I’ve been in this sport 23 years, and this, to me, is like one of those kid-in-the-candy-store moments of, I want to be part of this. And I’m glad that I’m having the chance to drive next year for the team and then I might be done driving after that.”

“What?” show co-host Nate Burleson asked, genuinely surprised by the casual remark. 

“I was wondering about that, Kurt, because you are 43,” Gayle King added. “And no offense, that’s considered older in your business — over the age of 40. When you just said I might be done after this, do you really mean that? I was wondering. Do you have a game plan about retiring?”

“There’s a few different options,” Busch said. “For me, the team it’s giving me so much respect. About a month ago, they said you can drive as long as you want to drive for us. We really appreciate you driving. Well, we need to start to look at who the next new talent is. Where the sponsorships are.” 

Talks about 23XI Racing signing Tyler Reddick

Kurt Busch waves to fans
Kurt Busch waves to fans onstage during driver intros prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway on June 26, 2022. | Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

Moments later in the interview, he mentioned how the team recently signed Tyler Reddick, which he lauded on Twitter after the announcement, even though 23XI Racing co-owner Denny Hamlin didn’t say if the current Richard Childress Racing driver would be in a third car or replace him or teammate Bubba Wallace.

So during an interview to promote a race, Busch mentions retirement out of the blue, and talks about the Reddick news. Fans can’t help but wonder.  

Busch also admitted in the interview that talk of his retirement has been something that has been discussed in the past. It happened just last year. But this time around it feels different when considering all that’s transpired with the team in the last two weeks. 

Time will tell. 

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Kurt Busch Answers Age-Old Question on Interesting Thing Drivers Do Just Moments Before Impact