Following a wreck during the NASCAR XFINITY race at Daytona International Speedway, Kyle Busch would miss the Daytona 500.
With nine laps to go, Kyle Busch would give Erik Jones a shot, resulting in Jones coming down across the field. Busch would then bounce off of another car before sliding through the infield grass and making heavy contact with a non-SAFER barrier wall. Busch was awake and alert as he was loaded into the ambulance before being taken to the infield care center, followed by the Halifax Medical Center.
The crash resulted in Busch sustaining a compound fracture of the right lower leg and a mid-foot fracture of his left foot in the accident. He would undergo surgery on Saturday night for his right lower leg, which would go successfully.
Addressing the media on Sunday morning before the Daytona 500, team owner Joe Gibbs would not offer any timetable as to when Busch could return behind the wheel.
“As far as time or length, I don’t have a good understanding of that with the doctors and everything — I think we’re just going to pray for him to bounce back,” Gibbs offered. “I can tell you this, Kyle’s already telling Sam, he said, ‘Hey, I just want to get back to racing.’ He has a great spirit about things like that.”
Gibbs could not offer information as to whether Busch will require any additional surgeries as a result of the injury, either.
“As far as medically, I’m obviously not the medical person, but according to the doctor last night, the lower part of his leg is all taken care of and I think we’ll have Dr. Anderson and that group look at the foot because they didn’t feel that was something that would be dealt with right now,” Gibbs commented. “The main emphasis was on his leg. As far as going back to Charlotte, we’re on standby with the plane. Whenever he feels that he can travel, we’ll get him back to Charlotte.”
Once Busch for returns to Charlotte, Gibbs commented that the doctors should be able to give a good idea on when Busch will be able to return.
“Dr. Anderson deals with, whether it’s football or racing or anything so I think he will give us a good opinion of that,” Gibbs said. “As far as sponsor goes, we had conversations all last night. Our Mars representatives were there at the hospital waiting all the way to the bitter end there listening to the doctor and everything. We’re just going to make the best decision we can.”
For now, as of Saturday night when the wreck happened and Sunday morning, Gibbs was focused on Busch’s recovery and just fulfilling the seat of the No. 18 M&M Camry for the Daytona 500. Matt Crafton would finish 19th in the Daytona 500.
“He’s a veteran guy and we felt like it was the perfect fit,” Gibbs commented. “We sent him over to the race shop last night. He met our person in charge of seats and they sat in all of our cars and he’s real comfortable with Kyle’s seat. We brought him down last night and he climbed into the car today and he told me, ‘everything’s perfect.’ I appreciate Matt.”