Kurt Busch will miss his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series race this weekend as he continues to deal with the lingering effects from a crash in qualifying at Pocono Raceway.
“Following medical evaluations after his wreck at Pocono Raceway last Saturday, Kurt Busch has not been cleared by the NASCAR medical team to return to competition this weekend at the Indianapolis road course,” 23XI Racing said in a statement. “Ty Gibbs will once again fill in for Kurt in the No. 45 Monster Energy Toyota Camry TRD. Kurt’s health is of the utmost importance to the team, and we wish him all the best as he prepares for his return.
“Kurt has been granted a medical waiver from NASCAR and remains eligible for the playoffs. The team will not be making any further comments about the matter at this time.”
Busch spun in Turn 3 on his qualifying lap and backed his Toyota into the outside wall. The car snapped around and also hit the wall with the right front. Busch did walk to the ambulance under his own power but was not cleared to race Sunday.
“After undergoing further medical evaluation this week, I have not been cleared to race Indy at this time,” Busch said. “I remain dedicated to focusing on my recovery and getting back on the track and will continue to work closely with NASCAR’s medical team and my own team of doctors.
“I’m thankful to 23XI and my sponsors for supporting me and also putting my health first, and to Ty for stepping in to race the No. 45 Monster Energy Toyota Camry TRD. I am proud of his debut and know he will represent the 45 well again this weekend.”
Gibbs finished 16th in his Cup Series debut after finding out he’d be in the car Saturday night. He will again pull double duty with both the Xfinity Series and the Cup Series competing on the Indianapolis road course, and this time will be able to practice in and qualify Busch’s car.
“I’m happy to help out 23XI Racing this week at Indianapolis, but again our thoughts are with Kurt and getting him healthy,” said Gibbs. “He’s a good guy, and we all want him back soon. I like road course racing, and I think we’ll have a solid Monster Energy Toyota Camry TRD this week. I think the goals are the same as last week – just to complete the race and learn all we can. I want to thank Denny [Hamlin] and M.J. [Michael Jordan] for the opportunity.”