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Kurt Busch Crashes Out of Strong Day in Atlanta

NASCAR NASCAR Cup Series

By: Zach Catanzareti, Staff Writer

HAMPTON, Ga. — A potential top-five run for Kurt Busch ended in disaster Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway when his No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet crashed into the Turn 1 wall following a restart.

As the field spread three-wide past the start-finish line on lap 113, Busch got a bump from Denny Hamlin entering Turn 1. The contact turned Busch right-front first into the outside wall, ending his day along the track’s SAFER barrier.

“I think the No. 18 [Kyle Busch] was the outside-lead car,” Busch said. “The No. 9 [Chase Elliott] kind of checked up, too. I checked up; the No. 17 [Chris Buescher] hit us from behind. It was just the accordion effect and then I jumped to the middle. I’m like ‘I’m here’; I positioned myself. It wasn’t like I re-arranged my lanes and made another block.”

Busch, who ran as high as third on the day, was disappointed to spend the rest of the afternoon in the infield. However, he understood Hamlin’s bump wasn’t purposeful.

“He didn’t do anything vicious or malicious there,” he said of Hamlin. “It’s a 500-miler and these are the days that it hurts the worst. This absolutely hurts the worst because we had a top-five, winning, Monster Energy Chevy.”

The three-time Atlanta winner left the track with a 39th-place result.

Photos by Jerry Jordan/Kickin’ the Tires

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