Kyle Busch’s day at New Hampshire Motor Speedway ended early after a crash at the end of Stage 1 in Monday’s NASCAR Cup Series race.
Busch had started at the rear of the field after a wreck in Saturday’s qualifying session and had moved up only slightly after the green flag of the Crayon 301. As the opening stage drew to a close on Lap 70, Busch’s No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet clobbered the Turn 1 wall. Corey LaJoie’s No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevy followed suit, also scraping the outside barrier.
Busch was running in 27th place at the time of the wreck, and LaJoie was in 31st. Busch limped around to pit road and made an additional lap before the No. 8 crew determined that the damage was terminal.
“I’ve been lacking right-rear grip the whole time we’ve been here,” Busch told NBC Sports after a quick check at the infield care center. “Just couldn’t get the right-rear feel in the race track. You’re just going along, trying to keep it under you as much as you can. It was getting late in the run, and I was trying a different line, and it was just too high. I didn’t like to be that high on entry. I couldn’t give it wheel and have the right-rear stick with the lateral grip that you need.”
Busch placed last in the 36-car field, snapping a streak of seven consecutive top-10 finishes. He entered the New Hampshire race ranked third in the Cup Series standings, with three wins already this season but slipped to fifth in the rankings after the DNF.
LaJoie continued after his wall contact and met the minimum-speed requirement at the start of Stage 2 before heading to the garage. He spent extensive time off the track for further repairs but was running at the finish to place 33rd — 125 laps in arrears.