DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A right rear tire failure on Kyle Busch’s No. 18 M&Ms Toyota Camry led to a five-car crash just past halfway in Sunday’s 59th annual Daytona 500 and caused Busch to lash out at Goodyear following the incident.
It was the second year in a row that Busch lost a tire during Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition at Daytona, following a crash in 500 practice a year ago where Busch crashed and was forced to a backup car.
Busch was at the head of the field and hanging onto the tail end of the lead lap after short-pitting alongside many of his Toyota stablemates.
But entering turn three, Busch spun after losing a rear tire and was piled into by two of his Toyota teammates — Erik Jones and Matt Kenseth — before then-race leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. climbed over Busch’s left-front fender and caused heavy damage to both cars.
After driving his mangled piece back to the garage, Busch blasted Goodyear officials for the tire issue that ripped a potential shot to win the Daytona 500 from his grasp again.
“It was nothing that we did wrong; obviously, Goodyear tires just aren’t very good at holding air,” It’s very frustrating when we have that happen down here every single time we’re here. Last year, we had it happen as well too; wrecked us in practice and tore up a car … several cars, in fact.”
“I actually felt like I hung onto it for a long ways, and then finally it just went. I don’t know if it was a left rear that went down or a right rear that went down, but man … we tore up three JGR cars and (Earnhardt) Jr. in one hit, and I feel horrible for those guys.”
Busch added that it was a sudden failure on his Toyota, and that there was nothing he could do at that point to prevent the carnage that ensued.
“I had no warning,” Busch lamented after driving his car back to the garage area. “I wish I would have, because if I had I would have tried to wave off as many guys behind me as I could, but it just happened right as soon as we started picking up load (going) into turn three. At that point, we just spun around; there was nothing I could do.”
“We were just biding our time, playing it out and trying to see what the strategies were going to do with the segments. We’ve got a segment point out of it, so that’s a positive … but man, you’re trying to win the Daytona 500 and for that to happen, that’s just so disappointing.”
Both Busch and Earnhardt were officially ruled out of the race by virtue of NASCAR’s new Damaged Vehicle Policy, as were Kenseth and Jones.
Ty Dillon sustained damage in the crash, but was able to hit pit road for repairs and continue.
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.
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