NASCAR: Late driver change announced for Pocono race

Kurt Busch, 23XI Racing, Pocono, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, 23XI Racing, Pocono, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /

Ty Gibbs is replacing Kurt Busch at 23XI Racing for today’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400.

23XI Racing’s Kurt Busch crashed his #45 Toyota after making it to the second round of qualifying on Saturday afternoon for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway

Because he was experiencing concussion-like symptoms, he has been sidelined for this afternoon’s 160-lap M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 around the three-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) Tricky Triangle in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.

Set to take his place is Ty Gibbs, who has never before competed in a Cup Series race.

Gibbs competes full-time in the Xfinity Series for his grandfather’s team, Joe Gibbs Racing. Joe Gibbs Racing have a technical alliance with 23XI Racing.

Busch officially qualified in 10th place, having advanced to the second round of the qualifying session, but Gibbs is set to start the race at the back of the field.

Busch won’t be credited with any points today, but he will be granted a playoff waiver, meaning that missing this race won’t count against him in terms of his playoff eligibility.

The 43-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada native won the race at Kansas Speedway back in May and sits in 14th place in the point standings, putting him higher than three other single-race winners. This could be crucial in the event that there are more than 16 different race winners before the regular season ends.

There are six races remaining on the 26-race regular season schedule, and there have already been 14 different winners.

Gibbs, who leads the Xfinity Series with four wins in 19 races this season, finished in second place in yesterday afternoon’s race at Pocono Raceway.

Busch hasn’t missed a race since March 2015. Today’s missed start ends a 269-race start streak.

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Tune in to USA Network for the live broadcast of the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 from Pocono Raceway. Start a free trial of FuboTV now if you haven’t yet done so!