Kyle Busch re-ups on Goodyear criticism after flat tires doom Bristol run

John K Harrelson/NKP

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

In what’s become a consistent trend in 2017, Kyle Busch took a few moments to criticize Goodyear’s tires used in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) competition after two blown right-front tires ended the 2015 series champion’s Food City 500 run prematurely at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Busch was contending for stage points on lap 204 when the first tire blew, a significant setback for the Las Vegas, Nevada native’s Joe Gibbs Racing team.

Busch fought back over the ensuing 200 laps, rising back into the top 10 and re-establishing himself as a legitimate contender, but a second flat tire on lap 384 served as a crushing blow, sending Busch’s No. 18 Toyota into the outside wall and behind the wall with heavy damage.

The crash led Busch to a 35th-place result, and prompted the 13-year MENCS veteran to speak sharply of the tires supplied for Monday’s rain-delayed race.

“I was the fastest one out there those last two runs picking cars off and driving from the back to the front after we lost our track position the first time,” Busch said. “We had our issues and we were trying to march our way back up towards the front and get there and thought we were doing a good job of that and trying to be conservative with the tires because obviously they can’t make it through a full distance for us for some reason.

“I don’t know, I don’t know if it’s fundamentally wrong what we’re doing, but it seems like all the rest of our five JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) cars are fine.”

Monday was far from the first time Busch has been critical of Goodyear’s tires this season. The Nevadan spoke out against the tire manufacturer in Feb., when Busch claimed flat tire led his No. 18 to crash in the season-opening Daytona 500. Goodyear later refuted those claims, saying there was no evidence to suggest a flat tire.

Busch unofficially sits 11th in the MENCS standings leaving Bristol, with one stage victory. The 31-year-old has yet to clinch himself into playoffs.

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