Photo courtesy of James Gilbert | Getty Images
Kurt Busch announced Thursday afternoon that he will miss the final two races of the NASCAR Cup Series regular season at Watkins Glen and Daytona.
The 23XI Racing driver has missed the past four races since suffering a concussion during qualifying at Pocono Raceway on July 23.
“As much [as] I want to be back in the car, the time is still not right,” Busch said in a statement. “Over the last few weeks, I have focused all my efforts on getting better. And in order to fully focus my recovery on trying to be back for the playoffs, I will not be competing in the next two races at Watkins Glen and Daytona.”
— Kurt Busch (@KurtBusch) August 18, 2022
Ty Gibbs will continue to drive the No. 45 Toyota Camry for the remainder of the regular season. The 19-year-old Gibbs has finished in the top 20 in three of his first four Cup Series starts, earning his first top-10 at Michigan.
Gibbs had to exit last week’s race at Richmond early due to engine troubles.
Busch has earned five top-five finishes, eight top-10s and a win at Kansas Speedway this season, his first with 23XI. The win at Kansas extended Busch’s streak of seasons with a Cup win to nine consecutive years.
Due to Busch missing the final two races, all drivers with one win are locked into the playoffs, according to Fox Sports NASCAR reporter Bob Pockrass. Busch would only be eliminated if there are two new winners unless he is ahead of one of them in the standings.
With Kurt Busch not racing Watkins Glen (and he also won’t race Daytona), all other drivers with 1 win are locked into playoffs. Bowman, Suarez, Cindric, Briscoe now locked in. Kurt would be eliminated if two new winners unless he is ahead in standings of one of those winners.
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) August 18, 2022
Busch currently sits 21st in the points standings.