NSCS: Busch Blows Tire; Pounds Wall in Friday Cup Practice at Daytona

Jacob Seelman Cup, Featured, NASCAR, Southeast 0 Comments

Kyle Busch crashed hard in Friday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice session at Daytona Int'l Speedway, and will move to a backup car for qualifying. (Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images for NASCAR photo)

Kyle Busch crashed hard in Friday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice session at Daytona Int’l Speedway, and will move to a backup car for qualifying.
(Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images for NASCAR photo)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Kyle Busch’s morning at Daytona International Speedway did not go according to plan, after the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion smashed the wall with nine minutes to go in the series’ only practice session on Friday.

Busch was riding in a four-car Joe Gibbs Racing team draft, with Denny Hamlin ahead and Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards behind, when he lost a right rear tire in the middle of the corner. The car turned momentarily towards the apron before shooting hard right, making heavy contact with the SAFER Barrier and demolishing the front end of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota.

Busch ended the session 28th, and had completed 15 laps in the session before the incident. The team will go to a backup car for qualifying and Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola (7:30 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM).

“(The hit) wasn’t any fun, that’s for sure,” Busch said after being evaluated and released from the infield care center. “Your first instinct is to correct and the car automatically corrects and then finally when it catches or when it hit the apron and caught, it just turned back the other way and (went) head on into the fence.

Busch's car back in the garage area following the hard hit. (Robby Lyons photo)

Busch’s car back in the garage area following the hard hit. (Robby Lyons photo)

“That was certainly a big hit, so you have to thank NASCAR for their safety advancements in the cars and the drivers’ equipment and things like that. Of course the SAFER barrier as well, too. That could have certainly been a lot worse than it was.

Hamlin saw the incident from his rear-view mirror, and spoke on it after climbing from his car at the end of the practice round.

“That was a hard hit from where I could see,” the Virginia native explained. “Just looked like a cut tire. Went in there, got loose and went the other way. (We were) just trying to log some laps, get some data (and) figure out what we could run as a group.”

“I think the 19 (of Edwards) had (a tire) go down, a left rear I think, earlier in practice but nothing (had happened) like (Kyle’s crash).”

Edwards’ team, in fact, found a puncture in the left rear after their driver pulled in complaining of a vibration earlier in the session. After changing the tire that was “five or 10 pounds low” on air pressure, the four cars went out as a quartet and Edwards had a front-row seat to the drama that ensued.

“Going into Turn 1 about four laps into the run, it was Matt in front of me and then Kyle in front of him and then I saw something come out from under Matt’s car and I thought ‘I wonder what that is?’ Then I saw Kyle sideways and … he drilled the fence. Honestly he hit hard enough (that) I was really worried about him.”

Busch also had strong words for Goodyear as well after demolishing his primary car.

“Something like what we had happen certainly doesn’t give you any confidence whatsoever in Goodyear’s ability to make a tire that’s worthwhile for us to go out there and race on. I guess we’ll just all suffer through it together, go out there and hope for the best.”

 

About the Writer

jacobseelmanJacob 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.

Email Jacob at: speed77radio@gmail.com

Follow on Twitter: @Speed77Radio or @JacobSeelman77

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