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Tony Gibson, Kurt Busch’s crew chief, may not make it to New Hampshire for Sunday's Chase race.

September 23, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kurt Busch’s crew chief had an emergency appendectomy that could delay his arrival in New Hampshire for this weekend’s playoff race.

Tony Gibson posted Wednesday on Facebook that he was home and resting a day after the procedure.

Stewart-Haas Racing said Gibson plans to be at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Sunday’s race, but will not leave North Carolina until he’s able. The team will have engineer Jeff Klausmeier ready as interim crew chief should Gibson miss any time.

SHR vice president of competition Greg Zipadelli will also take on a larger role with the No. 41 team, the team said.

Busch nearly won last week’s opening race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. He was leading and headed to the victory when a caution was called with 10 laps remaining.

Busch was passed by Denny Hamlin on the restart with five laps to go, and he finished third.

The win would have guaranteed Busch an automatic spot in the second round of the playoffs. Instead, he’s ranked fifth with two races to go before four drivers are cut from the field of 16. He was eliminated in the first round last year.

Klausmeier filled in as interim crew chief at Bristol Motor Speedway in April as Gibson missed the race while battling kidney stones.

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