Kurt Busch has not yet laid out his exit plan from NASCAR Cup Series racing, but the 2004 series champion is grateful to have options when he does hang up the helmet.
Busch hinted at retirement earlier this week while doing media in New York City. While helping promote the Chicago street course coming to the schedule next year, Busch told CBS Mornings that he’s glad he’ll be driving for 23XI Racing next year to participate, but he “might be done” after that.
Busch, who turns 44 early next month, signed a multi-year deal with 23XI Racing ahead of this season, and team president Steve Lauletta said there would be no changes to their driver lineup through the ’23 campaign.
“It’ll be fun,” Busch said of the day he retires. “There are options in a few directions still, so I’ve got to work with making sure Denny [Hamlin] has his game plan put together and our management at 23XI (and) Monster Energy. I’m doing fun things with McDonald’s right now. We’ve got a MoneyLion photo shoot next week.
“There’s so much going on, and there are so many people still to talk to. There’s no real game plan just yet.”
Busch appears set for a playoff berth with the No.45 Toyota team with a win from Kansas Speedway in his pocket. Busch and crew chief Billy Scott have put together a solid first season together despite some growing pains with mechanical issues and other circumstances outside their control.
Busch is 14th in the championship standings entering Pocono Raceway. And he continues to relish the opportunity to compete for a team he will leave his fingerprints on.
“This team has done something different for me with the respect and with the help of making me feel this is my home,” said Busch. “And it gives me that motivation to be that Kurt of all trades and work on all the different categories. So that’s why I don’t have a full answer or full game plan. But it’s really neat just having this comfort.”
Tyler Reddick is signed to drive for the company beginning in 2024. In making that announcement, team co-owner Hamlin said whenever Busch does stop racing, he will have a cushy job on the management side of 23XI Racing, and staying involved in the sport is something Busch is interested in doing.
“Of course, and I was in New York this past week doing sponsor things but also talking with TV people,” Busch said. “So there are a lot of categories of things to filter through, and it’s just cool having this many options.”