Just four minutes into Saturday’s final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice session at Michigan International Speedway, Kyle Busch was running on his own when the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota broke loose off Turn 4.
As Busch slid through the frontstretch grass, the front end of the car was heavily damaged, causing the team to pull out the back-up car. Busch was slated to start sixth in Sunday’s race, but as a result will now have to start from the rear of the 43-car field in Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400.
Prior to the incident, Busch posted the fourth-fastest time of the session.
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Walking from the infield care center afterward, Busch said he got loose in the corner and just spun the car out.
"Everything was fine. I was just trying to run around there and maintain speed," the JGR driver said. "I got a little bit free off (Turn) 4, kind of like I did here the first (race). Instead of trying to overcorrect, I tried to make it rotate and spin."
Busch never made contact with the wall, but all of the damage done to the car occurred when he slid through the grass. One of the biggest opponents of grass around racetracks, Busch took on a sarcastic tone after his car was heavily damaged without hitting a wall.
"I think at all these tracks we need more grass. I think more grass would be beneficial," he said. "I think we should have more grass and it should be taller."
No sh*t I shouldn't spin out but in the bad case that I do, We shouldn't be having grass tearing up 200K cars. 😡
Busch’s slide through the grass led to a lengthy cleanup as the No. 18 subsequently dropped a significant amount of fluid on the track.
With each team looking to get the most out of Saturday’s final practice session to learn all they could about how the high-drag aerodynamic package races around other cars, the lengthy cleanup cost everyone much-needed track time.
Busch’s teammate Carl Edwards was fastest at the time of the wreck, followed by Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Busch, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Austin Dillon, Kurt Busch and pole-sitter Matt Kenseth.
With Busch now starting at the rear of the field, he is pleased he raced with his fellow JGR teammates in Saturday’s morning practice session to learn all they could about the high-drag package.
"We just learned about how the draft was and what kind of instances you could try to put yourself in and what kind of instances you didn’t want to be in," he said. "Now that we have to start in the back, it’s a good thing we did that. It’s a good exercise and we’ll just have to adjust our car for being in the back of the field."