It was pretty easy to pick Kyle Busch to reach victory lane for the third straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Busch entered this weekend’s Food City 500 with a ton of momentum as he won the last four races he was entered in. Plus, the defending Sprint Cup champion has had a ton of success on the Tennessee short track, so mix the two together and you have a winning combination.
But, it was anything but a good day for Busch on Sunday afternoon.
“Fans were on. Everything was fine. Just blew a (expletive) tire,” Busch told the team over the radio after a right front tire problem sent him into the wall on Lap 50.
It was the first of two tire issues today for Busch.
On Lap 258, Busch had another tire go down, sending him back into the wall for his hardest hit of the day.
“It’s (expletive) killed,” crew chief Adam Stevens said over the radio as he summoned his driver to the garage. “We’re done, go home.”
After getting out of the car, Busch told FOX that he had “no idea” what kept leading to his cut tires.
“Guess it just wasn’t meant to be,” Busch told FOX. “We drove up from the back to the front a couple times and showed them what we’re made of, but unfortunately it doesn’t matter when you’re in the garage.”
A five-time winner at Bristol, Busch finished the race in 38th place.
Goodyear Racing offered an explanation for what happened in the first instance to the No. 18 on Twitter.
“18 of @KyleBusch melted a bead (excessive brake heat) on his RF at @BMSupdates, bringing out that first caution. @NASCAR,” Goodyear tweeted out.
Busch was not the only JGR driver with tire woes on this day as both Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin also had issues. Goodyear is taking those tires from the 11, 18, and 20 for further analysis. Busch’s JGR teammate Carl Edwards did win the race and led 276 laps.
But, if the tire issues weren’t bad enough, Busch was hit with a pit road penalty for being too fast then was spun by Chris Buescher on Lap 118.
It’s safe to say, Busch is happy that this weekend is now over and hopes he can retain his dominating edge next weekend in Richmond.