Kyle Busch criticizes Joe Gibbs Racing, Justin Allgaier after wreck at Bristol

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Even though he dominated much of race in leading 256 laps, Kyle Busch wasn’t around to reach the finish line in Sunday’s resumption of the rain-postponed Bass Pro Shops / NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Busch was running in second place when his No. 18 Toyota Camry suffered some type of mechanical failure on Lap 358, causing him to spin out.

Busch, who has five previous wins at Bristol, suffered the third DNF in his last four Sprint Cup races at the 0.533-mile high-banked bullring.

The defending Sprint Cup champion wasn’t pleased with Joe Gibbs Racing’s recent record of reliability at the track.

“Something (broke), obviously,” Busch told NBC Sports on CNBC. “It’s a shame. The last few times we’ve been here, we’ve had real fast Camry’s and we haven’t been able to finish, we’ve been having parts failures here. It’s something we have to address and fix. I’m tired of losing races here with parts falling apart. They’ll hear about it on Tuesday (in Joe Gibbs Racing’s weekly competition meeting).”

Justin Allgaier, substituting for Michael Annett (flu), was unable to avoid Busch’s stopped car and crashed into its left front.

Allgaier’s No. 46 Chevrolet bounced off Busch’s car and into the Toyota of Martin Truex Jr., also collecting Kyle Larson’s Chevrolet.

Busch criticized Allgaier for being unable to miss him when every other car/driver did.

“The person that’s really the biggest moron is the spotter of the 46 and the driver of the 46,” Busch said. “I’ve been wrecking for half a lap, and they just come on and clean us out. I don’t know. It’s a frustrating day. Let’s go home.”

Allgaier apologized to Busch for the wreck.

“I was trying to let the leaders go as best I could. We were a couple laps down right there and let them go,” Allgaier said. “The No. 22 (Joey Logano) ducked in front of me getting into (Turn) 1 and I had to jam on the brakes pretty hard. I got really loose and I was just trying to catch it.  That is when the spotter was telling me that the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) was spinning and he kept rolling down the hill so at first I committed to go below him because I was already on the bottom and then he was still coming down the hill so I tried to go out around the outside of him and unfortunately I just didn’t make it.

“The No. 22 was right there and just really a shame. I hate it for these guys. This Pilot Flying J No. 46 team they did a good job all day. We weren’t up there battling for the lead, but we had a good solid day going. I just cost us a decent finish. Thanks to them for letting me drive the car today. Sorry to Kyle (Busch) that is the worst possibly scenario when the leader spins out, and you hit them. Just really frustrating.”

Shortly after Busch called out her husband on TV, Allgaier’s wife Ashley took to Twitter and wasn’t quite as diplomatic as her husband:

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Coca-Cola 600 resumes after rain delay

Coca-Cola 600
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The Coca-Cola 600 is back under way following a rain delay.

The caution was issued on Lap 49 for rain and the field was brought to pit road. The red flag was issued at 7:07 p.m. ET and lifted at 8:16 p.m. ET.

The top five at the time of the stoppage was Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick and Joey Logano.

Check back for updates.

 

Denny Hamlin team faces potential penalty after ballast falls off car

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Denny Hamlin was involved in an incident even before Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 got underway that could result in a hefty penalty.

A chunk of tungsten ballast — which teams use to bring Cup cars up to minimum weight standards — fell off Hamlin’s car on a parade lap.

The incident puts Hamlin’s crew chief Chris Gabehart and several others on the team in violation of the NASCAR rule book, which means a hefty penalty could be in the offing.

According to the NASCAR rule book, the penalty is 12.5.2.7.4.d: Minimum safety penalty options — “Loss or separation of added ballast from the vehicle will result in a four Race suspension of the crew chief, car chief, and head engineer. If NASCAR cannot identify which series or vehicle the lost ballast originated from, all vehicles entered for that Event from and associated with the team organization identified on the lost ballast may receive the suspensions.”

If NASCAR implements the potential penalty, Gabehart and others could miss the following four races: May 27 at Charlotte, May 31 at Bristol, June 7 at Atlanta and June 10 at Martinsville.

Several of those tracks are good for Hamlin, including winning the Bristol summer night race last year, as well as was fourth at the Martinsville playoff race last fall and 11th at Atlanta.

NASCAR ordered Hamlin back to pit road where the No. 11 crew added a new chunk of ballast to Hamlin’s car. He returned to the race eight laps down.

Here’s what a fabricator from rival team Stewart-Haas Racing tweeted about the incident:

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Coca-Cola 600 starting lineup

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Chevrolet drivers swept the top three rows for tonight’s Coca-Cola 600, led by Kurt Busch‘s pole-winning lap of 181.269 mph.

Jimmie Johnson was next with a lap of 181.214 mph. He was followed by Chase Elliott (181.002 mph), Matt Kenseth (180.923), rookie Tyler Reddick (180.905) and Austin Dillon (180.741).

Ford driver Joey Logano, who starts seventh after a lap of 180.451 mph, was the top qualifier not driving a Chevrolet.

TO THE REAR: Matt DiBenedetto (backup car), Brad Keselowski (unapproved adjustment), Aric Almirola (unapproved adjustment), JJ Yeley (unapproved adjustment) and Timmy Hill (unapproved adjustment)

Click here for Coca-Cola 600 starting lineup

Kurt Busch wins pole for tonight’s Coca-Cola 600

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Kurt Busch will lead the field to the green flag for tonight’s Coca-Cola 600 after claiming the pole Sunday afternoon at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

It is Busch’s 28th career pole and first at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch is joined on the front row by Jimmie Johnson. Chase Elliott qualified third and is followed by Matt Kenseth and rookie Tyler Reddick. Austin Dillon was sixth, as Chevrolet drivers took the top six spots.

Click here for qualifying results

Aric Almirola spun coming to take the green flag to begin his qualifying lap. He grazed the wall with his rear bumper.

Matt DiBenedetto slapped the wall off Turn 4 during his qualifying lap and will go to a backup car and start at the rear of the field.