Huntersville, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Joe Gibbs Racing announced on Tuesday that David Ragan will drive the No. 18 Toyota in place of the injured Kyle Busch for the next several Sprint Cup Series races, beginning with this weekend's 500-mile event at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Busch fractured his right leg and left foot during an accident in last Saturday's Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway. The 29-year- old driver is out indefinitely.
Ragan, who has been competing in NASCAR's premier series full-time since 2007, currently drives the No. 34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports. According to JGR, Front Row Motorsports and its team sponsor, CSX, accommodated Ragan's move, and he is expected to return to Front Row later in the season.
"We appreciate being able to work with Front Row Motorsports and CSX for David's availability," team owner Joe Gibbs said in a statement. "We are fortunate to be able to have someone of David's caliber behind the wheel while Kyle recovers.
Ragan has scored two wins (Daytona in July 2011 and Talladega in May 2013), 14 top-five finishes, 35 top-10's and two poles in 291 career Sprint Cup starts. He finished 17th in Sunday's Daytona 500.
Front Row Motorsports did not immediately name a replacement driver for Ragan in the No. 34 car at Atlanta.
JGR also said that Erik Jones will substitute for Busch in the No. 54 Toyota in Saturday's Xfinity race at Atlanta. Jones is presently running a full schedule for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series and a partial schedule for JGR in Xfinity this season.
"Erik is a big part of our future at JGR, and we will be increasing his schedule in the Xfinity Series, beginning this weekend in Atlanta, and seeking the earliest opportunity to provide him Cup experience," Gibbs said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Busch was released from Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. and transferred to a North Carolina hospital where he will continue treatment. His wife, Samantha, posted on Twitter a photo of him on a stretcher being loaded onto a private jet at Daytona Beach International Airport. She tweeted, "Off to NC! Thank u to everyone at Halifax for taking such good care of Kyle n to all of U for the continued prayers!"
Busch underwent surgery on his right leg on Saturday night and remained in the Daytona Beach hospital for three days.