“Get Your Head out of Your A**”- Richard Childress Drops Stern Radio Warning After Kyle Busch Daytona Debacle

Published 02/19/2024, 6:59 PM EST

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The only crowning glory missing from Kyle Busch’s long-lasting and glittering career is a Daytona 500 win. Although the No.8 Chevrolet driver was close to claiming the Harley J Earl trophy on Monday, a concentration lapse from the #8 team’s pit crew has highlighted one aspect that Busch would need to improve upon this year. Resonating his frustration through the team radio, even team owner Richard Childress had an expletive-filled advice for the garage.

Kyle Busch finished the first stage with a P6 finish. While he had fought for a position in the front row consistently before that, his pit stop on the 67th lap cost him dearly. Owing to a safety violation for having too many crew members over the wall, Busch was handed a safety violation penalty and had to start from the back of the pack. However, this was only the start of the No.8 crew’s mistakes.

Richard Childress didn’t want Busch’s pit crew to hold him back


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Despite starting again from the back of the grid, a determined Kyle Busch immediately advanced through the traffic to find himself in the middle of it by the 90th lap. By lap 109, Busch led the race again. Going into the final stage with a solid position was surely what the 2-time Cup Series champion hoped to create. Eventually, however, he got ousted by Ryan Blaney for the lead but held on to a P4 spot.

In the 133rd lap, Kyle Busch’s front tire changer couldn’t tighten the lug nut on the left front tire. This worried Richard Childress and many fans, as it seemed like Busch had encountered a problem that would set him back again. Busch had to navigate a full lap without letting his wheel come off to avoid being hit with a penalty.

The 2-time NASCAR Cup Series champion was able to get his vehicle back to pit road in one piece, but not before Busch’s front wheel began sparking on the track. But, after returning to the pit lane and tightening the left front wheel, Busch led the race again by the 149th lap.

Watching these lapses from a distance, team owner Richard Childress sounded off on the No.8 crew, “Crew guys get your head out of your a** and stop f***ing up.” 

Right when Kyle Busch was gaining momentum at the closing end of the race, the RCR No.8 pit crew hindered him again. Busch went for an early pit stop compared to his Toyota compatriots and arrived in the pit lane on the 180th lap.

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The only other driver to join him on the pit road was his former teammate, Denny Hamlin, who lost pace and grid position due to a lack of a strong draft as well.

Kyle Busch gave the perfect response to his boss’ outburst during the race


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When Busch came down the pit road in the 180th lap, most of the fans thought the team had a plan to reinforce the car and get right back into the fight for the lead. With Denny Hamlin joining him, it seemed like a calculated decision. Instead, the two drivers failed to find pace due to that pit stop precisely. Unable to benefit from each other’s draft, it was a desperate situation for the two veterans.

Even after the second mistake from crew chief Randall Burnett and the team, Kyle Busch maintained a resilient approach. Soon after Richard Childress’ firm words of advice on the radio, an ensuring message came from Busch. “We can win this f***ing race,” said Busch as he went into a battle with Ryan Blaney and Austin Cindric for the top spot.

Experiencing such lapses at the highest level and in the biggest race of the season is a worrying sight for Kyle Busch. While he’d have hoped to break his winless streak in the prestigious race, the race wasn’t centered on that. Even if it was at any other venue, such mistakes could have possibly fared worse than they did. If not for Kyle Busch’s talent behind the wheel, the No.8 Chevrolet wouldn’t find itself close to the lead multiple times after such errors.


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The pit crew error was an unfortunate setback for Busch, who came into Monday’s race seeking his first-ever win at Daytona. Busch’s 19th attempt wasn’t the charm he was hoping for as the 38-year-old driver finished 12th. Now the No.8 team knows one aspect of its season that needs a humongous effort.


Written by:

Ansuman Abhisek


One take at a time

Ansuman Abhisek is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. Even before he made his way into the world of motorsports, he had already made a name for himself in the sports journalism field by working as a writer for a few media houses. Now, having covered multiple Cup races live, he has often been the first to report on-track incidents and also provide his readers with an in-depth analysis of the same.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta