Ty Gibbs will continue his role as the interim driver of the No. 45 Toyota for 23XI Racing.
Kurt Busch announced Wednesday, Aug. 10, he has not been cleared to return to the driver’s seat and will miss this weekend’s race at Richmond Raceway.
Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Cup Series champion, has missed the last three races – at Michigan, Pocono and Indianapolis – after a qualifying crash at Pocono sidelined him.
Gibbs finished 16th at Pocono, 17th at Indianapolis and 10th at Michigan.
“Thanks to everyone for the continued support and best of luck to the 45 team and Ty this weekend in Richmond,” Busch said in a statement released Wednesday.
Busch said he hoped to return by Richmond this Sunday, Aug. 14. However, he noted Wednesday, “brain injury recovery doesn’t always take a linear path. I’ve been feeling well in my recovery, but this week I pushed to get my heart rate and body in a race simulation type environment and it’s clear I’m not ready to be back in the race car.”
Busch is 20th in points entering Richmond. His win at Kansas, along with a waiver from NASCAR, will keep him eligible for the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
Busch is not at risk of falling out of the top-30 and falling out of his playoff eligibility that way. However , he is the lowest-ranked of the 15 winners and would be the first one out if there are two or more higher-ranked, playoff-eligible winners in the next three races:
Chase Briscoe – 1 win – 533 points (+48)
Austin Cindric – 1 win – 531 points (+46)
Kurt Busch – 1 win – 485 points (-46)