Kurt Busch to miss Watkins Glen, Daytona; hopes to be back for playoffs
Kurt Busch will miss the final two races of the regular season, as he continues to recover from concussion-like symptoms after a crash last month at Pocono Raceway.
Busch stated on social media Thursday that he would miss this weekend’s race at Watkins Glen and the Aug. 27 regular season finale at Daytona International Speedway. Busch has missed the past four Cup races because of the injury.
“As much I want to be back in the car, the time is still not right,” Busch stated on social media. “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.”
Ty Gibbs will continue to drive the No. 45 car for 23XI Racing in Busch’s absence.
Gibbs has performed well in a substitute role for 23XI Racing, finishing 16th at Pocono, 17th at Indianapolis and 10th at Michigan before engine problems resulted in a 36th-place finish last Sunday at Richmond Raceway.
Busch is one of 15 different winners this season. If playoff-eligible drivers -- who have yet to win this season -- win each of the final two races of the regular season, Busch would be eliminated from playoff contention. When there are 17 different winners in the regular season, the driver with the fewest points drops out of playoff contention. That would be Busch because he has the fewest points of any playoff-eligible driver because of the races he’s missed. The Cup playoffs are capped at 16 drivers.