Kurt Busch was perplexed as to what was wrong with the left rear of his Chevrolet that resulted in a crash in Turn 1 at Richmond Raceway midway through the first stage.
“I was just impressed with our speed, the way we unloaded and had that first 30 lap run,” Busch said. “After the pit stop – my wife has this word she uses with horses – she says ‘something felt wonky.’ Something in the left rear wasn’t right, but my guys said they got the tire tight, made an adjustment, and there was no rub, and the left rear let go.
“I was just radioing to them how loose the car was. Something happened to that left rear; it let go. It let go of our points, and it let go of our whole season right now. I don’t know what we’re going to have to do at Bristol other than win, but hats off to everybody at Ganassi.”
Busch crashed on lap 41 as he ran third. But he restarted as the leader on lap 37, having come off pit road first. On the broadcast, the tire appeared to have the lettering rubbed off, however there was no evidence of contact between Busch and another driver before the crash.
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Busch was working with teammate Ross Chastain’s crew members after four of the five members on his team were sidelined because of COVID-19 contact tracing protocols. Busch will finish 37th in the Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders.
On the playoff grid, Busch was 26 points above the cutline starting the night. The first elimination race is next Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, where Busch has won six times.
“The left rear took off on me, and now we’ve got to dig out of this hole and give it our best,” said Busch. “Thanks to Monster, thanks to Chevy, Ganassi. Kind of sucks.”