While Kurt Busch obviously has a future in the broadcasting field in the sport of NASCAR, the 43-year old driver doesn’t sound ready to hang up the helmet just yet. Despite his current team, Chip Ganassi Racing, getting sold out from under him, making him a free agent for the 2022 season, Busch still wants the challenge of driving the Next Gen NASCAR race car.
On Tuesday, Busch was at the South Carolina Governor’s Mansion for a joint press conference with Governor Henry McMaster and Darlington Raceway to promote the upcoming Southern 500 weekend in September.
In the press conference, the talk shifted toward Busch’s future behind the wheel. Busch acknowledged his desire and passion to be a broadcaster in the future.
“I’m learning to be a bit more of a story teller,” Busch explained. “I have been in the business of NASCAR for 22 years. I feel like I have a PhD here. This is my home. This is my family. I’ve been in the Carolinas for 20 years, now. I feel like there’s the broadcast booth that is calling my name. I’m doing the playoff races for the Truck Series these next eight weeks for their playoffs with the FOX Sports television group.”
While that opening statement sure sounds like Busch is openly thinking about stepping away from the driver’s seat for the 2022 season, he reigned things back in and revealed that he has multiple options as far as driving is concerned next season.
“Racing, I still want to race the Next Gen car. I’ve got two potential offers to race,” Busch stated. “The phone keeps ringing in the racing world, and I’ve got a great sponsor with Monster Energy.”
So, according to Busch, two teams appear to have indicated to the Las Vegas-native that they want him behind the wheel of their race cars for the upcoming season.
Obviously, 23XI — who Busch has been linked to for months — would seemingly have to be one of the two teams. The team, co-owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin, is in the midst of their maiden season in the NASCAR Cup Series. Sure, they haven’t been as explosive or dynamic as many expected coming into the season with a full list of sponsors and TRD support, but still, the 23XI team has put together a decent opening year with Bubba Wallace in their No. 23 car.
Shortly after 23XI was announced, Denny Hamlin leaked a blueprint of a new race shop that was being built for the race team. Included were four hauler dock bays, as well as four crew chief offices. This led to wild speculation that 23XI was planning to expand in the near future.
While it doesn’t look like they’ll have a four-car team in 2022, Hamlin has indicated that the team is looking at expansion to a second car. So, Busch would make sense as the second 23XI driver in 2022. But who could the second team be?
Trackhouse, who bought out Busch’s current CGR team, was the other team linked to Busch earlier in the Silly Season circus. But that organization has solidified their driver lineup for 2022 with Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain. That leaves no Trackhouse seat for Busch.
So, who is the second team?
Perhaps, we’ll find out soon. Regardless, it’s looking more and more likely that the 2004 NASCAR Cup Series champion will return for his 22nd full-time NASCAR Cup Series season.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.