Oh man, you hate to see this.
Kurt Busch took a hard hit during yesterday’s NASCAR Cup Series qualifying at Pocono Raceway when his #45 Toyota spun coming out of turn three.
His 23XI team quickly got out the backup car and began getting it prepped for today’s race. And while the car will be ready to go in time for the green flag, it turns out the driver will not.
NASCAR just announced that Kurt Busch has not been cleared to race today due to lingering concussion symptoms from his crash yesterday.
“This morning, Kurt Busch met with doctors in the infield care center for further evaluation following his accident during yesterday’s qualifying session. Following the evaluation, Kurt Busch has not been cleared to race in today’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Pocono Raceway.”
As a result, NASCAR Xfinity Series star Ty Gibbs will fill in for Busch and make his Cup Series debut.
Busch released a statement shortly after announced that he would not be cleared to race:
“NASCAR has done a great job of putting the drivers’ health before competition and I respect the decision they have made. I’m still having concussion-like symptoms from yesterday’s impact in qualifying. The tests demonstrate I am still recovering. I will continue to follow the medical team’s recommendations, and appreciate everyone’s support. Thanks to 23XI and their efforts, let’s get back on track in Indy!”
With one win already this season and sitting at 11th in the playoff standings, Busch is comfortably locked into the playoffs that will start in September.
But because one of the requirements for drivers to be eligible for the playoffs is that they must have started every race, Busch received a waiver from NASCAR that allows him to remain eligible to compete for the championship despite missing today’s race.
Of course it will be exciting to watch the up-and-coming star Ty Gibbs in his first Cup Series race, but you hate to see him make his debut under these circumstances.
Here’s hoping that Kurt makes a speedy recovery and is back in the car next week.