NASCAR Cup Series

Ty Gibbs subbing for Kurt Busch again at IMS

2 Mins read
Credit: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Kurt Busch will miss his second straight race as he remains uncleared to run Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway following a qualifying crash last Saturday at Pocono. Ty Gibbs will once again fill in by driving the #45 Toyota Camry for 23XI Racing.

“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 #45 Monster Energy Toyota Camry TRD,” began the team. “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.”

The specifics of Busch’s ailment have not been disclosed beyond him suffering a concussion when he hit the wall during his Pocono qualifying lap. Making his Cup début in Busch’s place, Gibbs finished sixteenth.

Busch will miss consecutive races for the first time since he was suspended for the first three races in 2015 while undergoing a domestic violence investigation for which he has since been exonerated. He also did not run the last two rounds of the 2005 season after his team Roush Racing (now RFK Racing) suspended him for a drunk driving arrest.

“After undergoing further medical evaluation this week, I have not been cleared to race Indy at this time,” said Busch. “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 #45 Monster Energy Toyota Camry TRD. I am proud of his début and know he will represent the #45 well again this weekend.”

Busch was fourteenth in points prior to his injury and dropped three positions since, but is locked into the playoffs via waiver and his win at Kansas in May.

Gibbs, who is third in the Xfinity Series standings, has three road course wins to his name. The first came in his maiden series start in 2021 on the Daytona Road Course, which made him one of six drivers to win in his Xfinity début including Busch.

“I’m happy to help out 23XI Racing this week at Indianapolis, but again our thoughts are with Kurt and getting him healthy,” posted Gibbs in a Notes statement. “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 MJ (Michael Jordan) for the opportunity.”

The injury has sparked concerns about the Next Gen car’s safety. Although NASCAR prides itself on increasing safety, various drivers involved in crashes since the Next Gen’s rollout have commented on impacts feeling much harder than its predecessors. Each car features a data recorder that analyses wrecks, and seven drivers wore mouthpieces during the Pocono race for further insight in the event that they get caught in an accident.

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Justin is neither a NASCAR nor off-road racer, but he has covered them for The Checkered Flag since 2018.
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