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Kurt Busch Announces His Decision On This Week's Race

Kurt Busch driving at the M&M's Fan Appreciation 400.

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 will remain sidelined as he continues to recover from a head injury.

The Toyota driver announced Wednesday that he won't return this weekend. Although he's been "feeling well" lately, Busch said it became "clear I'm not ready to be back in the race car" after simulating a racing environment.

"This was by far the hardest week emotionally because I do feel the progression of recovery," Busch wrote in a statement posted on Twitter, "but racing requires an extreme physical and mental effort, and my body is not 100% able to sustain the intense race conditions."

Busch has not competed since sustaining concussion-like symptoms during a July 23 qualifying event at Pocono Raceway.

After confirming NASCAR hadn't cleared him last week, the 23XI Racing member expressed hope for returning at Richmond Raceway this weekend. The 44-year-old will have to wait at least one more week.

Busch confirmed that Ty Gibbs will take his spot for the fourth time during Sunday's Federated Auto Parts 400. The 19-year-old, who ranks first in the Xfinity Series standings, has finished inside the top 20 in all three Cup Series races, including a 10th-place result last weekend.

Only three races remain before the Cup Series playoffs commence in September. According to Bob Pockrass of FOX Sports, NASCAR will extend Busch's playoff waiver request as long as he remains qualified.