Kyle Busch: Sunday's NASCAR Cup race 'never should've gone green'

Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire came to a crashing halt when wet track conditions triggered a multi-car wreck on Lap 6 and brought out a red flag.

Kyle Busch: Sunday's NASCAR Cup race 'never should've gone green'
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry crashes at Turn 1
Wet weather
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry crashes at Turn 1
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry after the wreck
Track drying equipment at work
Listen to this article

Despite drivers and a track official telling race control the track was wet in Turns 1 and 2 from “weepers” during pace laps the race went green as scheduled. 

Heavy mist was already in the air and as the first handful of laps ticked off, it quickly got worse but before NASCAR could throw a caution, leader Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin all spun on the track on Lap 6. 

 

The caution was finally displayed and almost immediately afterward, NASCAR put the race under the red flag as the entire track was soaked. 

The damage to Busch’s No. 18 Toyota was extensive and his race was over. 

“We started the race under a mist. It never should have gone green to begin with, but then it kept getting worse and worse lap over lap. The lap before I went into (Turn) 1 and it shoved the nose really bad and I was able to keep it under control,” Busch said.  

“It wasn’t bad enough. The next time I went down there, hell, I lifted at the flag stand – maybe a little past the flag stand – and just backed it in. We’ve been talking about it for two laps that it was raining. There’s no sense in saying what I want to say, it doesn’t do you any good.”  

Added Busch: “We’re done, we’re going home. It’s over. There’s no fixing that thing.” 

Truex and Hamlin react

Truex’s No. 19 Toyota appeared to suffer some serious damage but he said his team should be able to repair it enough to continue when the race resumed.  

“It was wet the lap before. I was screaming it was wet,” Truex said. “The next time around, I lost it and it was done. There’s not much you can do on slicks in the rain.” 

Hamlin called the situation “a bad look.” 

“I think we were just far enough up the field to be in the wreck, but far enough back to where I saw the leaders wrecking and were able to check up and brake 100 feet which kept us out of the wall. It was fortunate and unfortunate, but we’re going to be fine,” he said. 

Asked about the track conditions at the time, Hamlin said: “It’s wet. We run slick tires and these cars don’t have any grip on slick tires and wet asphalt. To me, that’s the job of the corner spotter has in NASCAR. They’re sitting over there, they can feel when it’s raining and see when it’s raining. 

“That’s their job to tell NASCAR that it’s raining and we have to stop so we don’t have that situation. You always in these situations, you want them to air on the side of not looking bad and this is just a bad look.” 

NASCAR responds

Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's executive vice president and chief racing development officier, joined the NBC broadcast booth to over NASCAR's take on the start of the race.

"We can only go kind of off the pre-race discussions we have before the race with Kip Childress, who drives our pace car – constant communication with him before the race starts,” O’Donnell said. “‘Are we good to go?’ Even the lap before we start, we go green, Kip gave us the all clear to start that race.

“Then as the race started progressing, right before Kyle (Busch) got loose in Turn 2, obviously in wet track conditions, the communication to us was from the flag stand we’re seeing some mist. In any normal circumstance when we hear that, our next call is to the pace car, which is in Turn 1 here: ‘Are you seeing anything on your windshield?’ Drops started picking up. Kip communicated that.

“As Tim Bermann is about to put out the yellow, we look down and (Busch) is already getting loose. I’ve been here a number of years. That’s the first time I’ve seen that in terms of how quickly it came upon us. Certainly mist, we’ve raced in mist conditions before. The track got slick, obviously, in a hurry and it was unfortunate what took place."

shares
comments

Related video

Chase Elliott wins SRX finale as Stewart claims series title
Previous article

Chase Elliott wins SRX finale as Stewart claims series title

Next article

Almirola scores upset win in chaotic New Hampshire race

Almirola scores upset win in chaotic New Hampshire race
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Prime

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

NASCAR Cup
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Prime

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR Cup
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Prime

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his teammate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Prime

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR Cup
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival Prime

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major engine overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021