BRISTOL, Tenn. — A dominant day for Kyle Busch turned south fast near the three-quarter mark of the race at Thunder Valley.
The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota started third and led 256 of the 500 laps in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. He even led his 12-thousandth career lap in Sprint Cup Series competition. But after losing the lead to Kevin Harvick on lap 348, he reported that something was wrong with his car.
On lap 359, Busch’s car got loose rounding Turn 1. His car slid down the track and then turned backward towards the wall. As his car sat there motionless, Justin Allgaier, subbing for Michael Annett, clipped the left front of his car. Allgaier continued up the track and collected Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson.
When asked what broke on the car, he said he didn’t know.
“It’s a shame,” Busch said. “The last few times we’ve been here, we’ve had really fast M&M’s Toyota Camrys and we haven’t been able to finish. We’ve been having parts failures here, so something we’ve got to address and fix. I’m really tired of losing races here with parts falling apart, so they’ll hear about it on Tuesday.”
When asked what he’d tell his team Tuesday, he said “They already know just by watching the race, but it’s frustrating because that’s like two or three or four races in a row here at Bristol that we’ve had problems. Yeah, maybe a couple of them were my doing, but we’ve also had parts failures here and we can’t be having that sort of stuff.”
He took issue with Allgaier clipping the side of his car.
“The person that’s really the biggest moron out there is the spotter of the 46 and the driver of the 46 (Justin Allgaier),” Busch said. “I’ve been wrecking for half a lap and they just come on through and clean us out. That’s stupid, so I don’t know – frustrating day. Let’s go home.”
Busch leaves Bristol sixth in the points, down two spots from Watkins Glen, standings trailing Harvick by 88 points.