“It’s Kyle Busch’s race to lose.” Those were the words uttered by Kyle Larson Sunday night after he crashed out of NASCAR’s All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway on lap 37.
Indeed, to that point that Busch was the car to beat. Busch, the polesitter, led all 47 laps, won the first stage and was firmly in the lead near the end of Stage 2, when disaster struck.
Coming out of Turn 4 Busch’s Toyota slowed as the left rear tire went flat. He tried to pull up out of the way and Austin Cindric passed him for the lead. A hard charging Ross Chastain couldn’t however, and his Chevy slammed into the front of Busch’s Toyota and went airborne. Chastain’s Chevy continued up and into Turn 1 collecting the Chevy of Chase Elliott.
All three drivers were able to climb from their cars but were done for the night. Chastain said he chose the wrong lane.
“I saw Kyle (Busch) have an issue with a tire down,” he said. “I guessed left, and I should have guessed right.
“It was a big hit into Kyle. It was a tough break, but we had a fast car.”
Elliott had been rocketing through the field making up 8 spots after the restart on lap 43 for the Larson caution.
“I saw the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) had a problem; and then I saw the No. 1 (Ross Chastain) 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.”
NASCAR was forced to stop the race for clean-up with 48 of the 125 laps complete. The red flag lasted just over 14 minutes.
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