Kyle Busch is headed to a backup car at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after becoming the latest driver bit by the bad luck bug in NASCAR Cup Series practice.
Busch spun entering Turn 3 less than seven minutes into Saturday’s practice session. A flat left-rear tire resulted in Busch spinning and his car backing into the outside wall. The left side of the car also hit the wall.
The 1️⃣8️⃣ is around! @KyleBusch makes heavy contact with the wall early in practice. pic.twitter.com/a3v8KThHEG
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) March 5, 2022
“No, just went down,” Busch said when asked if he’d had any warning something was wrong with the tire. “Just running around there making laps, and a couple guys got a little crossed up off of (Turn) 2; I went low off of 2 one time but never heard anything that I hit anything or anything like that. So just going down the backstretch felt it start to go down and just happened so fast it was too late to slow down and do anything.
“Sucks for all the guys; that’s a backup car for sure. So, I hate it for everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing and what we’re trying to do here, parts crunch and everything else. But what do you do? When they don’t hold air, then you can’t make a corner.”
Busch completed nine laps before the crash.
As the No. 18 team begins preparing the backup car, Busch will not attempt a qualifying lap and will start at the rear of the field in Sunday’s Pennzoil 400.
Busch’s was the only incident in the 35-minute practice. NASCAR officials gave teams more on-track time this week after only having 15 minutes of practice last weekend.
Kyle Larson, the defending race winner, was the fastest in practice at 181.18 mph (29.804 seconds). Christopher Bell was second fastest at 180.77 mph, with Ryan Blaney third fastest at 180 mph. William Byron was fourth fastest at 179.77 mph, and Joey Logano completed the top five at 178.76 mph.
Alex Bowman was sixth fastest at 178.67 mph, Tyler Reddick was seventh fastest at 178.64 mph, Chase Elliott was eighth fastest at 178.48 mph, Daniel Hemric was ninth fastest at 18.38 mph, and Ross Chastain was 10th fastest at 177.87 mph.
Rookie Harrison Burton, 14th fastest and Kevin Harvick, 24th fastest, ran the most laps in practice at 46.
There are 37 drivers entered at Las Vegas. Greg Biffle and NY Racing are the only non-chartered team competing this weekend. Biffle was 23rd fastest in practice.
UP NEXT: Single-car, two-round qualifying at 2:15 p.m. ET.