Kurt Busch not medically cleared to race; will miss third consecutive week

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - JANUARY 12: Kurt Busch, driver of the #45 23XI Racing Toyota looks on in the garage during the NASCAR Next Gen Test at Daytona International Speedway on January 12, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

NASCAR veteran Kurt Busch has again not been medically cleared and will sit out a race for a third consecutive week.

Ty Gibbs will once again sub for Busch this week taking over the No. 45 Toyota for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

Busch Wednesday issued a statement via social media: “While I am continuing to make improvements every day and can’t wait to get back in the No. 45 Monster Energy Toyota Camry TRD, I have yet to be cleared to return to competition and will not be participating in the NASCAR Cup Series race this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. I know Ty (Gibbs) will continue to do a great job representing 23XI and the No. 45 Monster Energy team this weekend in Michigan. I am working hard to get back to 100% and it’s my hope to be back in the car at Richmond Raceway. Thanks to everyone for the continued support and I look forward to being back on track soon.”

Busch suffered concussion-like symptoms after a qualifying crash on July 23 at Pocono Raceway; Ty Gibbs was tapped to take the seat for the 23XI Racing team’s No. 45 at Pocono and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course last week.

Gibbs will be aiming to build off a pair of top-17 finishes in his first career premier series starts.

Though Busch will now miss his third race of 2022, he has been granted a waiver to compete for the championship if he qualifies for the 16-driver playoff field. In current playoff standing, he is locked in by virtue of his win in May at Kansas Speedway.

Busch,43, will undergo another evaluation next week to determine if he is fit to race the Sunday after Michigan at Richmond Raceway.

In 2016 Dale Earnhardt Jr., then 42, sat out two races in July after he was diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms. In September he announced he would sit out the entire rest of the 2016 season.

Greg Engle