NASCAR: Kurt Busch out for third consecutive race at Michigan

Kurt Busch’s NASCAR absence will extend to at least three races.

Busch said Wednesday that he would miss Sunday’s Cup Series race at Michigan. Busch suffered an apparent concussion in qualifying at Pocono and has missed races at Pocono and the Indianapolis road course. He’ll be replaced by Ty Gibbs in the No. 45 car for 23XI Racing once again.

“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,” Busch said in a statement.

“I know Ty will continue to do a great job representing 23XI and the No. 45 Monster Energy team 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.”

Gibbs, the grandson of NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs, has filled in for Busch at both Pocono and Indianapolis. He finished 16th at Pocono and 17th at Indianapolis.

Busch’s injury is the first significant injury suffered by a driver in NASCAR’s new Cup Series car. Busch was exiting Turn 3 at Pocono during qualifying when his car spun around and the back end hit the outside wall.

Busch won at Kansas Speedway in May and is currently a part of the Cup Series playoff field because of that win assuming that three winless drivers do not win over the final four races of the regular season. Busch is 18th in the points standings despite missing two races and is likely to fall no lower than 21st in the standings if he returns in a week at Richmond.

LONG POND, PENNSYLVANIA - JULY 23: Kurt Busch, driver of the #45 McDonald's Toyota, works with a crew member during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series M&M's Fan Appreciation 400 at Pocono Raceway on July 23, 2022 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch is set to miss a third straight race after his Pocono crash. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) (Logan Riely via Getty Images)