LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Kurt Busch won’t be competing in the NASCAR playoffs.
The Las Vegas native drives for 23XI Racing, which said Thursday that Busch will miss the start of the NASCAR playoffs. As a result the team will withdraw a request for a medical waiver that would have maintained the driver’s playoff eligibility.
The decision to withdraw a waiver request effectively removes Busch, who won earlier this year at Kansas Speedway to punch his postseason ticket, from the playoffs — he does not qualify for the playoffs without that waiver, per the NASCAR rule, according to a story on NASCAR.com.
Drivers who win a Cup Series race automatically lock into the 16-driver postseason field, provided he finishes in the top 30 in points and attempted to start each of the 26 regular-season races.
Busch has missed five consecutive races — and will not compete on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway — after concussion-like symptoms that developed after his qualifying wreck on July 23 at Pocono Raceway.
Initially, NASCAR granted Busch a medical waiver, the story at NASCAR.com said.
“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,” said Busch. “In addition to not being cleared to return to racing, I know that I am not ready to be back in the car.”
Added 23XI team president, Steve Lauletta: “Although Kurt will not be competing for a championship this season, he will continue to play a vital role in the organization as he works with our competition group to keep improving and strengthening the team.”
Busch, 44, has driven in 776 NASCAR Cup Series races in his 23-year career and was the 2004 Cup Series champion.