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.”