But Logano’s right-front tire failure was an unintentional punch to the gut of Busch’s hope to win Sunday’s Camping World 500 at Phoenix Raceway, ending a week of controversy. Busch tossed a haymaker at Logano after a last-lap crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last Sunday. He wasn’t penalized for the confrontation.
With Busch in the lead and six laps remaining in the scheduled 312-lap event, Logano’s right-tire blew out, sending the No. 22 Ford Fusion into the outside wall in Turn 1.
Busch came to pit road for two tires, but three drivers stayed out on track, including eventual winner Ryan Newman. Busch restarted in fifth position and managed to climb to third in the two laps of overtime.
He fell short of ending a 19-race winless streak since last July at the Brickyard.
Logano had battled brake problems earlier, but they didn’t cause his wreck.
“The brakes are fine,” Logano told Fox. “There at the end, the right front obviously overheated the bead (of the tire), I’m sure is what it was.
“There’s not much you can do when the right front blows out and you’re looking at that sharp corner.”
Logano was running 11th at the time of the wreck and had a top-10 finish in his sights. Instead, he finished a season-worst 31st after finishing sixth at Daytona and Atlanta and fourth at Las Vegas.
Despite falling short, Busch wound up with a season-best third. His previous best in 2017 was 16th two weeks ago at Atlanta (also was 38th at Daytona and 22nd at Las Vegas).
“Everything’s great, we got a top-five, that’s what we set out to do today,” Busch told Fox. “We got a third, so we should be pumped about that and the way our Camry ran today.”
“Too many cars stayed out (on the final pit stop),” Kyle Busch said. “If it was only two that stayed out, maybe (he could have rallied for the win). We definitely needed the outside like Larson had, but overall we should be proud of our run today and we move on.”