KANSAS CITY, KAN. (AP) - Kyle Busch added one more awful afternoon to his history of disasters at Kansas Speedway.
This one may have hurt more than any other.
Busch came into Sunday’s race third in the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings, but wrecked out for the third straight time at the track. The hard hit in Turn 1 left him in 34th place, and dropped him to fifth in the standings and 35 points behind leader Matt Kenseth.
“I have no idea what happened,” he said. “All I know is we’re in Kansas, right?”
Busch called the track the “worst I’ve ever driven on,” and said that Goodyear’s “multi-zone” tread tire that it brought to this weekend’s race “are the worst tires I’ve ever driven on.”
“You can’t do anything unless you’re out front,” he said. “I’d say it’s pretty pathetic.”
Busch wrecked his primary car in practice and had to start at the back, and then was so dissatisfied with his backup car that the team flew in a new transmission overnight.
They were the last team onto the grid as they frantically worked to pass inspection.
“It certainly hinders it,” Busch said, when asked what the performance did to his title hopes. “We’ll just try to get back in it. Try to work hard and see what falls our way, and if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.”
It’s been a challenging year for Busch at Kansas, where he has never finished in the top five in a Sprint Cup race, let alone won. He also wrecked in practice for the April race, wrecked in the Truck Series the race the next day, and then spun twice in the Sprint Cup race.
But this wreck came during the Chase, where Busch had two second-place finishes and a fifth to climb into third in the standings _ by far the best start of his career.
“It’s his toughest track on the schedule,” said brother Kurt Busch, who finished second to winner Kevin Harvick. “Plus, he had a rough day. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.
“Here he is, he’s raced 30 races or so this year. He got into the Chase where he didn’t run last year, and then he started the Chase off strong this year and was a championship front-runner. Now he’s gone, so he’s going to be frustrated.”
Busch actually spun twice Sunday. He was sent for a whirl by Juan Pablo Montoya moments before the crash that ended his afternoon, and voiced his displeasure with Montoya _ who will be leaving NASCAR for IndyCar after the season _ to his crew of the radio.
“He won’t be missed,” Busch said.