DAYTONA BEACH, Fla – Normally, it’s inevitable at restrictor plate tracks. Whenever cars get going around one another, at these speeds under these circumstances, wrecks almost always occur. It’s not just race conditions either, it happens every time in practice too.
We saw a crash in today’s rain delayed Coke Zero 400 practice from the Daytona International Speedway on Friday morning, as there was a big crash. This time though, it only involved one driver and also wasn’t in a pack.
Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch crashed hard in Turn 4 of the 2.5-mile high banked track this morning after suffering what appeared to be a cut tire.
Busch, was running in a single file pack with his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates of Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth when his car unexpectedly stepped out from under him and as he tried to correct it, his No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota went head on into the outside SAFER barrier.
“It 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 head on into the fence.
“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. That could have certainly been a lot worse than it was.”
The right-front of his car took the brunt of the impact when it crashed hard into the outside wall, and the team will need to go to a backup for the rest of the weekend.
Goodyear officials said a gash was found in the right-rear tire during its post-crash evaluation of the incident.
This is the second straight year Busch was involved in a practice accident ahead of the Coke Zero 400, as he was involved in a big crash in practice last year in Turn 2.