By David Morgan, Associate Editor
For the second week in a row, Kurt Busch will be watching from the sidelines as he continues to recover from concussion like symptoms sustained in a qualifying crash last weekend at Pocono.
Busch was reevaluated this week leading into Sunday’s Verizon 200 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, but was not cleared to race, paving the way for Ty Gibbs to once again climb behind the wheel of the No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota.
With his win at Kansas earlier this season, Busch has already become Playoff eligible, and per the team, when he returns to the cockpit would be granted a medical waiver from NASCAR to remain eligible.
“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 Motor Speedway Road Course. Ty Gibbs will once again fill in for Kurt in the No. 45 Monster Energy Toyota Camry TRD,” 23XI Racing said in a statement.
“Kurt’s health is of 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.”
In his first NASCAR Cup Series start at Pocono, Gibbs turned in a respectable 16th place finish, having no previous experience in the Next Gen car.
This weekend, he will run double duty, piloting his No. 54 Toyota in the Xfinity Series on Saturday before turning around for Cup Series duty on Sunday.
“I’m happy to help out 23XI Racing this week at Indianapolis, but again our thoughts are with Kurt and getting him healthy,” Gibbs said in a statement posted on Twitter. “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 thing the goals are the same as last week – just to complete the race and learn all we can. I want to thank Denny and MJ for the opportunity.”