LAS VEGAS — After a brush with the wall early in Saturday’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup practice session, Kyle Busch will drive a backup car in Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Because of the change from primary to backup No. 18 Toyota, Busch must give up his second-place starting position and take the green flag from the rear of the field.
According to Jimmy Makar, vice president of racing operations at Joe Gibbs Racing, the choice to go to the backup was a difficult one.
“We can repair it — we just don’t know if we can get it back where it needs to be,” Makar said of the primary car. “The frame is bent a little bit in the back. That makes us a little bit nervous, so we opted for the backup car to make sure we have a car that that we know is proper.
“The backup car is good. I don’t think there will be any issues with that. It’s a good up-to-date racecar. It just puts us a little behind working on that. The car was awful good in practice. (It) came off the truck, and he was fast, consistent. He felt good in it. He liked the way it felt. To give that up is a bit disheartening, but it will be all right.”
According to Makar, the No. 18 team planned to put the engine of the primary car into the backup after Saturday’s second practice session.