NASCAR’s Kurt Busch remains out as concussion symptoms continue to linger
Many were hoping that Kurt Busch could return to Las Vegas, his hometown track, this weekend for a potential send-off. Instead, the concussion he suffered last year at Pocono Raceway continues to have lingering effects that are keeping him out.
Busch’s only job this weekend is to continue his work as a consultant with his 23XI Racing team, co-owned by Michael Jordan, and Toyota. While he’s done well in this role, making the best of it, Busch wants to get back on the track.
However, the 44-year-old knows that he can’t.
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“When you look at the therapist, and he’s looking back at you, there’s work to be done,” Busch said, via The Associated Press. “That’s really all I can give you.”
It’s not that Busch hasn’t been trying. He’s been working hard since last summer and noted that he’s been go-karting and using a simulator, which has been “been fine.”
“It’s just when I had my head in the headrest and there’s that movement, that bothers me,” he said.
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Busch’s injury occurred during a qualifying lap at Pocono, when he lost control of his car, which smacked against the wall with the right rear. Though Busch came out of it waving to onlookers to signal he was fine, he certainly wasn’t.
“The wreck might not look like it wasn’t that violent. But primal fear is — I leaned forward knowing I was backing into the fence,” Busch said. “If you feel fear coming from behind, you lean away. So I exaggerated the hit by leaning forward and that 30 G’s backward was something I never felt before. I don’t remember the right front hit. That’s when things got serious in the infield care center.”
Yes, 30 G’s registered in Busch’s head on the rear-wall hit. He also hit the front wall and that placed 18 G’s on Busch.
When he went for an examination after the wreck, Busch couldn’t stand up straight, nor could he answer questions to doctors.
He’s made progress since, but he’s “not 100%,” he told the AP.
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Busch said 2023 would be his last season in NASCAR regardless, but this isn’t what he had in mind.
Kyle Busch, Kurt’s younger brother who won last week in the Auto Club Speedway, feels his brother will be just fine off the track in this new role.
“I see him doing a lot of different things and looking at his schedule and talking with some of the folks around him, he is somewhere doing something every day,” he said. “He is fine off the track, as much as it can be inside a Busch’s head anyway.”
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Kurt Busch has won 34 races over 776 starts in his career that has spanned over two decades in NASCAR. He was the 2004 Cup champion as well.
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