NASCAR: Kurt Busch to miss second consecutive race after Pocono qualifying crash

Kurt Busch is set to miss a second race after suffering an apparent concussion in a qualifying crash at Pocono.

Busch will be replaced by Xfinity Series driver Ty Gibbs in the No. 45 car for 23XI Racing on Sunday at the Indianapolis road course. Gibbs made his Cup Series debut filling in for Busch on short notice at Pocono after Busch's car crashed into the wall exiting Turn 3 in qualifying on Saturday.

"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," 23XI Racing said in a statement. "Ty Gibbs will once again fill in for Kurt in the No. 45 Monster Energy Toyota Camry TRD. Kurt’s health is of the utmost importance to the team and we wish him all the best as he prepares for his return."

Busch said he was experiencing "concussion-like" symptoms after the wreck and was not cleared by NASCAR to race at Pocono on Sunday morning. Gibbs finished 18th in the race.

Busch has gotten a waiver from NASCAR to remain playoff eligible despite missing races. Busch won at Kansas in May to essentially secure his playoff spot. He's currently 17th in the points standings and the lowest-ranked driver in the Cup Series who has just one win. With 14 different winners over the first 21 races, Busch could miss the playoffs if three drivers without a win get a victory over the final five regular-season races of the season and he's the lowest-ranked driver with a win. But that's an unlikely proposition.

Busch, 43, joined 23XI Racing ahead of the 2022 season when the team co-owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan expanded to add a second driver as a teammate to Bubba Wallace. The two races Busch has missed in 2022 are the first Cup Series races he's missed since he was absent for the first three races of the 2015 season.

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 25: Kurt Busch (#45 23XI Racing Monster Energy Toyota) watches the action on pit road during qualfying for the 2nd annual Ally 400 on June 25, 2022 at Nashville SuperSpeedway in Nashville, TN. (Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch is currently 17th in the Cup Series points standings after missing the Pocono race. (Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)