The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs got off to a rough start for a handful of drivers.
Kurt Busch, Erik Jones, Clint Bowyer and Kyle Busch all struggled in Sunday’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Kurt Busch was credited with a last-place finish after he cut a tire and went into the wall. The contact caused severe damage to his Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
“We were trying to go for the same spot, in the middle,” Busch said. “We ended up four wide, got a fender rub and the day is done. It just happens that fast.”
Jones has a mechanical issue early on and although he was able to return to the race ended up with a 36th-place finish.
“We had an issue with the throttle sticking the run before,” Jones said. “I think it got stuck wide open when I was trying to shift to third, and obviously, you can’t shift wide open or else it’s going to jam it in the rails. The rails got jammed there in the shifter on the actual transmission and we couldn’t get it on pit road. You had to take the shifter boot off, and get in there and fix it from the top side. Had to fix it. Just unfortunate.”
Bowyer started from the pole but only led one lap. He had a tire go down after contact and finished 25th.
“I had a run on the Buescher kid and he ran me in the wall so I tried to go inside of him and someone hit me in the left rear and knocked it down,” Bowyer explained. “ It just wasn’t our night. It wasn’t anybody’s fault. I had a run on Buescher on the outside and he ran me in the wall. I went low and tried to fill the hole and I got nailed in the left rear. We shouldn’t have been back there though.”
Kyle Busch came into the race as the No. 1 seed after winning the regular season championship. But an encounter with the wall on lap three set off a chain of events than included getting into Garrett Smithley’s car in the late going. That contact damaged Busch’s splitter and caused him to slide back to a 19th-place finish. (Read More)
“I don’t know … Was told he was going to go high thought he was going to go high he went middle — thought he was going to go high, and killed our day,” Busch told NBCSN.
“Should have run fourth probably, but instead 19th. I don’t know … We’re at the top echelon of motorsports and we got guys who have never won late model races running out here on the race track. It’s pathetic. They don’t know where to go, so what else do you do.”