WATCH: Kyle Busch Spins Early at Darlington Just Short of Leading 18,000th Lap in NASCAR Career

Published 05/10/2021, 9:10 AM EDT
May 9, 2021; Darlington, South Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) races during the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


Kyle Busch backed up his win at Kansas last weekend with a third-place finish at Darlington on Sunday. However, at one point during the race, it looked like he wouldn’t get a chance to do that.

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Busch took an early lead in the throwback race on Sunday before Martin Truex Jr. attempted to pass him for the lead on Lap 22. Just as Truex passed him, Busch seemed to lose control and went into the inside wall. It was later revealed that a corded right-rear tire caused the incident.

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Busch hit the inside wall, albeit not too hard, and then spun towards the middle of the race track. He had to pit to damage the repairs and crucially lost his position. Incidentally, the No. 18 car driver was just one lap short of leading the 18,000th lap of his NASCAR career.

Kyle Busch used his experience to forge a comeback

More importantly for Busch, he was able to stay on the lead lap after the incident and ended the opening stage in 16th place. He then found his way to the front, but could not lead another lap as Truex dominated.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was happy with the overall effort, given that he thought the early wreck and spin would end his day early.

“We actually drove up to the lead today on the restart there and got the lead and then had a tire go down,” Busch said after the race. “I thought that was the end of our day. But we were able to salvage something out of that without being able to tear up the car worse than we did,” he added.

May 9, 2021; Darlington, South Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) and Denny Hamlin (11) race in front of William Bryon (24) during the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Strong pit stops and an impressive job by his No. 18 crew played a big role in Busch’s resurgence on the day.

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Busch aims to gain more overall speed

“All around, it was a good day. Just lacked a little bit of overall speed to maintain with the 19 there on the long runs,” Busch expressed further.

Busch was even quite surprised to see Truex Jr’s dominance on Sunday. The No. 19 took a massive eight-second lead over him in second place during Stage 2, and Busch now wants to figure out how his teammate was able to do so.

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He feels there is more work to be done going ahead, despite a couple of really strong races, including the Kansas win last weekend,

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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