Kurt Busch Shares Head Injury Experience with IndyCar Champ Simon Pagenaud

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Busch Shares Head Injury Experience with PagenaudIcon Sportswire - Getty Images

Retiring NASCAR Cup champion Kurt Busch says the lingering concussion symptoms plaguing NTT IndyCar driver Simon Pagenaud are very similar to his, and that he and the 2019 Indianapolis 500 winner have been in contact with each other.

Busch has offered the 2016 IndyCar champion different doctors he has seen as well as different procedures he has undergone.

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Simon Pagenaud, left, and Kurt Busch, right, were presenters at an NHL awards show in 2019.Ethan Miller - Getty Images

“Working with different neurologists, I’ve learned there’s six major different types of concussions,” Busch said Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway. “Then there’s 20 to 30 variants of each. Age can come into play, the violent accident that was the final one that you couldn’t pass the concussion protocol, then there’s quantity of wrecks, and other things over time that add up. It’s not just a playbook that says … you’re gonna be back in three weeks or six weeks.”


Busch suffered his concussion in July 2022 at Pocono when his car hit the third-turn wall during qualifying. He announced in August 2023 at Daytona that he was retiring from NASCAR Cup racing. Busch now works with 23XI Racing in an advisory/coach capacity.

Pagenaud’s terrifying crash occurred this year on June 30 at Mid-Ohio when a brake component failed during practice. He hopes to return for testing during the off-season.