Kyle Busch‘s recent bad luck at Bristol Motor Speedway reared its head again Monday in the postponed Food City 500.
Busch’s No. 18 Toyota was in two accidents, the first on Lap 210 while running in the high lane when he appeared to lose a right-side tire and smacked the wall, giving him light damage on the right side.
Goodyear said Busch’s tire problem was the result of a melted bead, but that it wasn’t heat related.
Busch had been running in the top 10 for most of the race before the accident occurred. He had finished 10th in Stage 1 and placed 19th in Stage 2.
Busch’s day then ended on Lap 383. Busch had fought back to seventh when the right-front tire once again blew, sending the No. 18 hard into the outside wall.
Goodyear said the second tire failure was also a bead problem and not heat related.
“I was the fastest one out there those last two runs picking cars off and driving from the back to the front after we lost our track position the first time,” Busch said. “We had our issues, and we were trying to march our way back up towards the front and get there and thought we were doing a good job of that and trying to be conservative with the tires because obviously they can’t make it through a full distance for us for some reason.
“I don’t know if it’s fundamentally wrong what we’re doing, but it seems like all the rest of our five JGR cars are fine.”
Busch placed 25th or worse in four of his previous five starts at Bristol. Tire problems in the April race last year ended his day in 38th, and mechanical problems in the August race resulted in a 39th-place finish.
Busch, a five-time winner at the half-mile track, addressed his recent Bristol problems on Friday.
“A lot of it has been changing conditions with the track and others of it has been just issues in general,” Busch said. “We found we had an issue with our car last spring where we were blowing right front tires and that was self-inflicted, not driver, but us as a team with what we did in practice and stuff kind of alluded to it. Then last fall we had a great car and that thing was fast and we ended up breaking a part underneath the back holding the rear-end in the car. That was a part failure.
“… It’s just been frustrating the last few times of coming here and not really having the speed in order to run up in the lead and lead a lot of laps like I used to. When I used to win here each and every time, I would lead 250, 350, 400 laps or something like that. We were pretty dominant force and that’s kind of gone away and it would be nice to get those days back in the 18 camp.”
Busch entered the Food City 500 seventh in points.