The last time Kyle Busch was at Texas Motor Speedway, he seemingly could do no wrong. In April Busch won everything NASCAR put on the track; the pole and the Xfinity series race, followed by the pole and the Cup race.
Friday however, Busch could seemingly do nothing right.
At the start of Friday’s lone Cup practice session, Busch hadn’t even completed a lap when his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota seemed to lost a tire sending it hard into the wall in Turn 4. The JGR team leapt into action bringing out the backup car. The team was able to swap parts and pieces and Busch was able to take a few laps in the final minutes of practice putting down a lap good enough for 22nd.
“Hate that happened for my guys and all the work they’ve already put into my primary,” Busch said. “And now having to switch to a backup car is not how we wanted to start off practice. Didn’t even get a lap on that thing.”
“We got into turn three and the car felt great,” he added. “Loaded up really good, got back to the throttle and then got to the bumps that are over there in three and four and felt like it bottomed out a little bit and kind of got me up the track and then from there the whole car just kind of came out of the track and I got loose and couldn’t get it checked up or slowed down before it slapped the wall. Speeds are really high here at Texas and when you lose that grip, typically it happens in a hurry and just kind of got away from me there. Wish that I would have had maybe taken it a little easy, but I really wasn’t even trying that hard to be honest with you. Just kind of a shock that that happened.”
The issues for Busch did not end with the practice issue though. During Friday’s qualifying Busch was able to run a speed good enough to make it to the second round. However, after his run, water began leaking from the backup car on pit road. The team pushed the car to the garage where the problem was quickly found. Busch was not as talkative as he was earlier in the day leaving his crew chief Adam Stevens to explain what had happened.
“I think it is a byproduct of pounding the fence before we even completed a lap in practice,” Stevens said. “In our hurry to change the motor and all the drivetrain afterwards, apparently we didn’t get the lower radiator hose completely clamped on the water neck out of the block and proceeded to dump all the water out of it on pit road after our first run.”
Busch will start 24th Sunday, a far cry from his pole in April. No word Friday if, like the famous children’s book by Judith Viorst, Busch wanted to go to Australia because he thinks it’s better there.