Race Weekend Central

Kurt Busch Will Miss Watkins Glen & Daytona, Ty Gibbs Back as Sub

Kurt Busch will again sit out in the NASCAR Cup Series, announcing Aug. 18 that he is not medically cleared to drive at Watkins Glen International and Daytona International Speedway the next two weeks.

“As much as I want to be back in the car, the time is still not right,” Busch tweeted. “Over the last few weeks, I have focused all my efforts on getting better. And in order to fully focus my recovery on trying to be back for the playoffs, I will not be competing in the next two races at Watkins Glen and Daytona.”

Ty Gibbs will fill in for Busch in the No. 45 for 23XI Racing in both events.

See also
Kurt Busch Out Again at Richmond, Ty Gibbs Subbing

Busch remains out of the car for a fifth and sixth straight race. He suffered an injury during a crash at Pocono Raceway last month.

In his four starts replacing Busch, Gibbs has one top 10, coming at Michigan International Speedway. He finished last in his most recent run at Richmond Raceway following an engine failure.

About the author

Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

He needs to protect his long term health, retire, and replace Burton in the booth.

Bill B

Sounds like he needs to make a long term decision. Seems silly to risk further injury when he’s so close to the end of his career.


I agree, said it the other day too, quit while your brain is partially working at least. Not worth another race imo. Kurt is smart, he will retire I’m guessing.


Would love to see Kurt in the booth


Would be interesting to see/hear data on whether the new car had any impact to his condition (and comparison to the old car). I went back to look at the video, and the safer barrier seems to hardly deflect at all – was the car designed/left to absorb the majority of impact – which is being transferred to the drivers?

That hit didn’t look any worse (from my comfy couch) than hundreds of others that drivers had no issue with. Obviously, Kurt felt a lot more than we saw, and that raises concerns. Then I think back… Dale Sr’s wreck at Daytona didn’t look that bad either.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jeremy
Bill B

All good points. The only thing I can figure is that since brain damage from concussions is cumulative, perhaps he’s had a lot of concussions through the years that we don’t know about. Up until recently drivers would/could not miss races and would often drive with ailments and there were no protocols to protect them from themselves.


The drivers are saying the hits are harder than they were in the old car; perhaps this is proof that NASCAR needs to to more to protect the drivers.

Wishing Kurt the best in his recovery.


If Kurt can’t participate in the last 10 events, does the 45 still qualify with a different driver? What happens if a car has two drivers win in the car in the first 26 examples of Brian’s product?

I can understand Kurt not driving at Daytona because of the crap shoot chance of getting hurt again but he doesn’t say for sure if he’ll get back in the car after Daytona.

Knowing how NA$CAR can manipulate the “rules” I’ve got a feeling it will depend on Marty getting in.

Bill B

I would think not since the relief driver in this case will have only driven in 5 races when the playoffs start. Plus he is collecting points in Xfinity and a driver can’t be eligible for the championship in more than one series.
Of course, as you point out, NASCAR can do whatever the hell they want.
I would say a better scenario would be to move Bubba from the 23 to the 45.

Last edited 1 year ago by Bill B
Share via