CONCORD, N.C. – Kyle Busch parked his No. 18 Toyota during a red flag on Lap 100 Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, ending a dismal race for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.
Busch clarified on Twitter postrace that his car had a broken sway bar that impacted its handling, which was why he left the race and took the 37th-place finish (10 laps down). “Better to call it a day” and move on to Dover, Busch wrote.
According to a team report, Busch radioed his team with nearly 50 laps remaining (shortly after the end of Stage 2) that something was amiss with the left rear of his Camry. On a Lap 65 restart, he was forced off course and suffered a flat tire after contact with the barrier that also apparently broke the sway bar.
He was penalized for driving through too many stalls, resulting in a pass-through penalty in the pits that dropped him a lap down. He lost another lap for repairs during a Lap 88 caution before pulling into the garage after a four-car pileup on Lap 100 that resulted in an 8-minute red flag (and many drivers receiving water breaks under 90-degree temperatures).
Busch advanced from the first round after finishes of 19th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (where he was embroiled in postrace controversy), second at Richmond Raceway and 37th at The Roval.
“It just wasn’t our weekend,” he said in a postrace release. “I don’t really know why we had the trouble we’ve had. It’s not the way you want to run in the playoffs. We are fortunate that we had such a strong regular season and that we have the playoff points that we have. We just can’t keep relying on that as we go through the playoffs.”