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NASCAR driver Kurt Busch is set to miss the next two races — Watkins Glen this weekend and Daytona next Saturday — due to lingering issues stemming from a concussion suffered last month at Pocono.
“The time is still not right,” Busch tweeted Thursday evening. “The decision was not an easy one, but the right one. It’s my goal to be back in the No. 45 Toyota TRD to start the playoffs.”
Busch, 44, hasn’t raced since finishing 10th at New Hampshire on July 17.
He was involved in a huge crash during qualifying the following week at Pocono, missed that race and hasn’t been cleared since.
Busch, who won earlier this year and will receive a playoff exemption, tweeted out a video earlier this month of him attending a Charlotte FC soccer game as part of his recovery.
NASCAR driver Kurt Busch working with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Busch has also been working with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s medical team, which helped Junior when he missed the second half of the 2016 season with a concussion.
Junior returned the following season for all 36 races before retiring.
With Busch now set to miss the final two races of the regular season, the next race he could return to would be the playoff opener at Darlington Sept. 4.
How do the NASCAR playoffs work?
While the veteran driver is currently in the playoffs, his spot isn’t guaranteed.
It’s also worth nothing that while NASCAR granted Busch a playoff exemption, meaning his missed races don’t count against him, that doesn’t protect him if more than 16 drivers win and the playoff cutline shifts to most points earned.
Right now, Busch sits 21st in the points after missing five races, despite his win at Kansas in May. The next lowest single-race winner is Chase Briscoe, who is 64 points ahead of Busch.