Joe Gibbs Racing announced today that Denny Hamlin will fill in for Kyle Busch behind the wheel of the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry in this weekend’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and in four subsequent events.
Busch continues to rest comfortably in his home in Charlotte, North Carolina, rehabilitating from a compound fracture of the right lower leg and left mid-foot fracture suffered from an accident during the February 21 XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway.
No specific timetable has been announced for Busch’s return. However, Hamlin will compete in this Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, on March 21 at Auto Club Speedway, April 10 at Texas Motor Speedway, April 18 at Bristol Motor Speedway and May 23 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Hamlin was previously scheduled to run six XFINITY Series events for the team this season. His schedule now increases to a total of 11 events.
Erik Jones will drive the No. 54 Monster Energy XFINITY Series Toyota at Phoenix International Raceway on March 14 and April 24 at Richmond International Raceway. He drove the Monster Energy car at Atlanta Motor Speedway last weekend, finishing 13th after qualifying 12th. Jones continues to run a full season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports and a partial schedule for JGR in the No. 20 NASCAR XFINITY Series Camry.
Also joining the Monster Energy/Joe Gibbs Racing stable is Carlsbad, California native Boris Said. The 52-year old NASCAR veteran will drive in seven XFINITY Series events with the No. 54 team, including Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, the non-companion XFINITY Series events at Iowa Speedway in Newton on May 17 and August 1, Chicagoland Speedway on June 20, Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course on August 15, Road America on August 29 and Kentucky Speedway on September 26.
“We hate this for Kyle (Busch) obviously and I think everyone is focused on getting him back healthy,” said team owner Joe Gibbs. “We can’t thank Monster Energy and all of our partners enough for working with us while Kyle is recovering and certainly it is nice to have Denny and Erik ready to fill in. We’re also excited that Boris will have the opportunity to drive the car for seven races in 2015.”