Ready to retire? Kurt Busch leaves NASCAR fans guessing

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Kurt Busch waits in his garage before the start of a NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race practice session at Daytona International Speedway, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Kurt Busch dropped a cinematic short two days before the Daytona 500 that blew the budget, featured a Vanilla Ice cameo and hinted at his NASCAR retirement.

The 2004 NASCAR Cup champion did not definitively say whether he's planning to hang up his helmet at the end of the year.

“If you’re asking me if this is a retirement video, I’m leaving it open for interpretation,” Busch told The Associated Press on Saturday. “There’s subliminal messaging everywhere. It’s a reflection of my career, of winning.”

The “Shifting Gears” video drips with clues that the 42-year-old Busch has at least considered walking away at the end of this season. He has spent the last two seasons with Chip Ganassi Racing and his contract is up at the end of the season.

Busch takes a call in the video from Tampa Bay Buccaneers star tight end Rob Gronkowski, who came out of retirement to win a fourth Super Bowl last week and implored the driver not to call it quits.

“Is retirement for me? Am I ready to retire? I won it all. I’ve done it all,” Busch narrates in the video. “I’m so very satisfied.”

One of the closing images features Busch boarding a private jet and flying off into the sunset.

“It’s all said and done. Put a stamp on it. I’m out,” he said.