Kyle Busch doubts drivers can run side-by-side in new chicane

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 27: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Hazelnut Toyota, practices for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on September 27, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Something—or someone—has to give.

That’s what Kyle Busch said about the changes to the backstretch chicane at the Charlotte Roval, which is now a slower corner requiring a more radical downshift than was the case last year.

But because the chicane is still tight, Busch doesn’t believe drivers will be able to run side-by-side through the entire chicane. Nevertheless, it’s an opportunity for drivers to pass by out braking fellow competitors into the what is labeled Turns 11 and 12.

“The bus stop at Watkins Glen, if you both really, really slow down you can go through there two-wide,” Busch said on Friday before Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying. “I don’t think you can go through this one (Charlotte) two-wide. If you’re a guy who’s going to dive bomb and make a move on the inside of somebody to out brake them getting into that corner, they have to let you go, because you’re going to be going so much faster.

“You’re almost going to be overstepping your braking zone over that guy to get in there, so you’re going to need as much room as you can have. You can’t turn that sharp corner and be two-wide. I hope guys will understand that if they’re getting out braked, they have to give it up and kind of fall into line.”

After qualifying 17th on Friday, Busch will need all of his road course braking skills to make his way to the front.

Greg Engle