DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Matt Crafton will replace an injured Kyle Busch as the driver of the No. 18 car in the Daytona 500 on Sunday.
Joe Gibbs Racing needed a replacement after Busch sustained a right lower leg compound fracture and left mid-foot fracture in an accident during the Xfinity Series race Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. No timetable is known for how long Busch will be sidelined, nor who will drive the No. 18 car next week at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Crafton is the two-time defending Camping World Truck Series champion. Though he has never started a Sprint Cup race, failing to qualify last year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he is a veteran and is approved to compete in NASCAR's No. 1 division at Daytona. Crafton served as a standby last year for Paul Menard and Martin Truex Jr.
Long-term, JGR is likely to promote Erik Jones, an Xfinity rookie who isn't cleared to compete at Daytona in a Cup car but is eligible to race most elsewhere.