Kyle Busch went from leading the All-Star Race to being involved in a wild three-car wreck in a matter of moments when the right rear tire went down on his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Busch was leading at Texas Motor Speedway coming to three laps to go in the second stage. His car wiggled off Turn 4 with the right rear down, and he began to slow on the frontstretch.
Austin Cindric got around Busch on the inside just past the start/finish line to take the race lead, but Ross Chastain was not as lucky. The No. 1 drove into the driver’s side of Busch’s car and went airborne.
Chastain’s car landed and came back up the track into Turn 1, hitting Chase Elliott in the left rear. Chastain hit the wall while Elliott spun and impacted the wall with the left side of his car.
Ross Chastain slams into Kyle Busch at Texas and launches off the No. 18 car. Wow. He's okay. pic.twitter.com/3QSt8GdPVj
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) May 23, 2022
“It felt like the driver of the No. 1 car chose the wrong lane to go,” Chastain said. “My World Wide Express car was tight all night and [I was] just managing the tightness and saw Kyle had an issue like a tire down. I guessed left and I should have guessed right.
“Big hits; big hit into Kyle. I didn’t think the wall would hurt as bad as it did…but I’d already hit the No. 18 and the No. 9. Tough break, but fast cars.”
All three drivers were taken out of the race but uninjured.
Busch started from the pole and had led all 47 laps until the crash.
“Just got a flat tire off [Turn] 4; the right rear’s flat,” Busch said. “Unfortunate for our guys, everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota, M&M’s. We had a really fast race car; a great race car; led all the laps up to that point, obviously. So disappointing to not be able to finish it out and go race for the million bucks.”
“I saw the No. 18 had a problem and then I saw the No. 1 hit him really hard,” Elliott said. “I just didn’t give him enough room. I knew he was going to go straight; I just didn’t realize he was going to go that far right that quick. I just kind of misjudged it. It was really avoidable on my end. I just kind of messed up and didn’t get the gap shot quick enough.
“I hate it. I thought our No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy was surprisingly pretty good for me at Texas, so I was pretty excited about it. [I was] looking forward to getting going and seeing what we had here towards the end. I thought we were sitting in a really good spot with strategy and things like that. We’ll try again next week.”