Kyle Busch bashes Goodyear after blown tire eliminates him, Earnhardt and others

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Daytona 500 hopes for a group of Toyota hopefuls, Ty Dillon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. call came crashing down as a blown tire for Kyle Busch led to a five-car pileup.

Busch was leading a small group of vehicles including race leader Earnhardt during Stage 2 of the season-opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) event when his No. 18 Toyota blew a right rear tire going into Turn 3 of the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway.

Unable to control his machine, Busch spun in front of the small pack. Unable to maneuver out of the way, a group of cars including Matt Kenseth, Erik Jones, Earnhardt and Ty Dillon all piled in behind Busch. One driver’s splitter was embedded in the wall, forcing a lengthy red flag for repairs.

Elliott Sadler also sustained minor damage in the event, though he drove off.

Busch, Kenseth and Jones were all eliminated from the race immediately under NASCAR’s new damaged vehicle policy.

Both Dillon and Earnhardt attempted to continue on with heavy damage after their team made repairs within the new five-minute limit. However, only Dillon soldiered on after the red flag. Earnhardt brought his No. 88 to the garage area, ending his day.

Afterwards, Busch lambasted Goodyear’s tires for costing him a chance at Daytona glory.

“These Goodyear tires aren’t very good at holding air,” Busch said. “So it’s very frustrating when you’re trying to win a Daytona 500 and you gotta rely on other people and they don’t do a good job.”

This isn’t the first time Busch had issues with tires at Daytona. The 2015 MENCS champion was critical of Goodyear at Daytona last July when a cut tire sent him hard into the wall during practice.

“It doesn’t give you any confidence whatsoever in Goodyear’s ability to make a tire that’s worthwhile to go out there and race on,” Busch said at the time.

Busch has a checkered past with Daytona. It’s been the sight of one victory and seven top fives for the Las Vegas, Nevada native. However, the Daytona Beach, Florida facility has also been the sight of some of his worst crashes, including a 2015 shunt in the Feb. XFINITY Series race that gave Busch broken bones in each leg and left him unable to compete until May.


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