Kyle Busch escaped injury Friday morning when a blown tire sent his No. 18 Toyota head-on into the outside wall with a few minutes remaining in the final practice for Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
Busch was the second car in a four-car pack headed into Turn 2 when his car swayed left and then violently snapped to the right, smashing the wall head-on. Busch radioed that the right rear had gone down. He climbed from the car and walked to the medical vehicle.
The defending Sprint Cup Series champion, who broke his right leg and foot at this track in the Xfinity Series season opener in 2015, directed his ire straight at Goodyear.
“It wasn’t any fun that’s for sure,” Busch told NBCSN after being 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, you know, just turned back the other way and head-on into the fence. So, that was certainly a big hit so you gotta thank NASCAR for their safety advancements and the cars, and the drivers’ equipment and things like that and of course the SAFER barrier as well too; that could have been a heck lot worse than what that was.
It doesn’t give you any confidence whatsoever in Goodyear’s ability to make a tire that’s worthwhile to go out there and race on. I guess we’ll all just suffer through it and hope for the best.
Goodyear said there was a gash in the tire, indicating he drove over something that cut the tire.
Friday’s session was added after bad weather shortened practice time on Thursday. He’ll go to a backup car for qualifying, which is set to begin at 4:10 p.m. ET.