BROOKLYN, Mich. — Kyle Busch’s painful relationship with Michigan International Speedway continued early in Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400, after the defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion spun exiting turn four and tagged the infield grass.
Busch was running 10th on the restart at lap 26 and was challenging on the inside when he got loose, spinning to the apron of the corner and sliding into the grass on the frontstretch just prior to the start-finish line.
The incident did not cause any major damage to the front fascia of Busch’s No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, but did flat-spot all four of his tires as he worked back to the pit lane.
Busch lost a lap on the pit lane and restarted 39th, fuming on the radio to crew chief Adam Stevens about his horrible luck in the Irish Hills.
“Have I ever told you guys that I absolutely adore this place?” Busch said snidely just before the green flag.
“Just keep your head up,” Stevens responded calmly. “It’s not in the Chase. We’ll be alright.”
Five of Busch’s last six efforts at Michigan entering the day resulted in finishes of 31st or worse, including two last-place efforts caused by a crash in the spring race last June and an engine failure this June, both at lap 52.
In all, Busch has finished outside the top 10 in eight of his last nine outings in Brooklyn, with his best finish in that span being a fourth-place run in June of 2013.
Prior to that stretch, he won at Michigan in August of 2011, leading 22 laps and beating Jimmie Johnson on a green-white-checkered finish.
Busch ranks first on the Chase Grid through 23 races, with four wins on the season at Martinsville, Texas, Kansas and Indianapolis.
The Las Vegas native will look to get back on track in next week’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, where he won the crown jewel event in 2008.
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 22-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
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