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Goodyear refutes Kyle Busch’s account of Daytona crash, meets with driver at Atlanta

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HAMPTON, Ga. – Goodyear has refuted Kyle Busch’s claim that a flat tire caused his spin in the Daytona 500.

Busch blamed the crash on a rear tire that went flat and said, “You know, obviously Goodyear tires just aren’t very good at holding air.”

Goodyear general manager of worldwide racing Stu Grant said definitive video evidence showed that all four tires on Busch’s No. 18 Toyota were up when it began to spin.

Speaking before Sunday’s Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Grant said no cuts were found on Busch’s tires at the track or at Goodyear’s technical center and research facility in Akron, Ohio.

Technicians also analyzed broadcast video to determine that Busch’s right rear was up when the car spun. Goodyear contacted the NASCAR R&D Center for additional video to verify the left rear was up.

“In fact, their email back to us was it’s clear both tires were up when he spun,” Grant said of NASCAR’s response.

Busch’s left-rear tire apparently went flat in the crash after contact with Erik Jones.

So does Goodyear believe Busch just lost control?

“He felt something happen,” Grant said. “All I can tell you is it looks like both tires were up when he spun.”

Grant said he met Sunday morning with Busch at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

“We had a good discussion,” Grant said, adding that things were “good between us and Joe Gibbs Racing. In terms of our analysis of the Daytona tires, (engineer) Rick Campbell was in constant communication with the JGR competition people.”

Busch took another shot Saturday at Goodyear when he lost the lead in the truck race because of a flat tire. Because the incident occurred on a restart after a yellow-flag pit stop, Grant theorized that Busch ran over debris.

“It was either flat when (it was mounted) or he ran over something on pit road,” Grant said. “We looked at it, and it didn’t have one green-flag lap on it.

“I would say it’s nearly impossible to destroy a tire on an out lap after a caution. You can’t do it that fast. These things are way more durable. I don’t believe that had anything to do with setup. He ran over something or there was some problem when (the crew) put it on.”

NASCAR America: NASCAR’s stars hit the track for the ‘Little 600’ (video)

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Like more than three dozen of his NASCAR Cup counterparts, Joey Logano is gearing up for the longest race of the year, Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

To warm up, Logano, NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Darrell Wallace Jr. and other NASCAR drivers headed to the GoPro Motorplex in North Carolina for the “Little 600.”

Check out how they fared in the above video that was on Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America.

 

Coca-Cola 600 starting lineup

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CONCORD, N.C. — Kevin Harvick will start on the pole for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, marking the second consecutive race at Charlotte Motor Speedway he has led the field to the green flag.

Harvick, a two-time Coke 600 winner, earned the top starting spot Thursday night with a lap of 193.424 mph in his Ford. He’ll be joined on the front row by Kyle Busch, who won last weekend’s All-Star Race.

Chase Elliott starts third and is followed by Matt Kenseth and rookie Erik Jones.

Points leader Kyle Larson will start 39th in the 40-car field after not making a qualifying attempt. He hit the wall in practice and then his team couldn’t get through qualifying inspection until one minute remained in the opening round of the session. The team was unable to get Larson out of the garage in time to make an attempt.

Click here for Coca-Cola 600 starting lineup

Slugger Labbe: How do crew chiefs prepare for grueling Coca-Cola 600? (video)

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Veteran crew chief Slugger Labbe stopped by the NASCAR America studio in Charlotte on Thursday.

Labbe gave his perspective on how NASCAR Cup crew chiefs will prepare for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. While the race length will be the same as it has been for decades, one significant change will have crew chiefs developing strategy that they’ve never had to deal with in the 600, namely, four different race stages.

Labbe also gave his take on the positives and negatives of the Laser Inspection Station for both pre- and post-race inspections.

Check out the above video.

NASCAR: Remembering Martin Truex Jr.’s dominating 2016 Coca-Cola 600 win

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In one of the most dominating performances in NASCAR history, Martin Truex Jr. turned last year’s Coca-Cola 600 into a runaway one-man show, leading the field for 392 of 400 laps.

Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America took a look back at Truex’s record-setting win.

Check out the video above.