CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Kyle Busch’s Sprint Cup All-Star race frustration continued Saturday night.
Busch, who has won six Truck Series races at Charlotte but never a Sprint Cup race, crashed in the second segment of the All-Star race to end what started off as a promising night.
It was the fifth time in nine All-Star race appearances that Busch did not finish the event.
“I hate that we’re out this early,” Busch said. “But you’re trying to race hard and protect that average finish that you’re supposed to have for the last segment and trying to pass as many cars as you can. I was going to have two right there getting into Turn 3. Those are the opportunities you have to take in the All-Star race.”
Busch said being aggressive “bit me in the rear.”
Busch qualified second earlier Saturday and won the first segment, putting him in good position early.
But he might have gotten a little greedy.
He tried to make a run on the top of the track, but older brother Kurt slowed up, forcing him to the low side of the track. The younger Busch tried to get around Clint Bowyer but the two cars touched, spinning out Busch in a wreck that collected Joey Logano.
Bowyer seemed as surprised as anyone that he got into Busch’s fender.
“The No. 41 (Kurt Busch) got in the fence on the outside and forced his hand and then (Kyle Busch) tried to push me,” Bowyer said on the radio. “I don’t know how I didn’t wreck. His brother forced his hand.”
Logano was a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time with little he could do to avoid the spinning Busch.
“They were racing hard in front of me and the 18 car spun out there,” Logano said. “I thought he was going to stay up by the wall and I kind of committed to running that bottom and I was trying to slow up as quick as I could, but once he started coming down the race track I kept trying to turn lower and lower and hoped he would go back up the race track and never did.”
EARNHARDT’S DUMP TRUCK: Dale Earnhardt Jr. was frustrated all night with the setup of his No. 88 Chevy.
“Yeah, I’ve been driving a damn dump truck for two weeks, man. I don’t know what’s going on,” Earnhardt said.
GOODNIGHT GORDON: Jeff Gordon’s car failed him on the back straightaway in the fourth segment of the All-Star race causing him to slow up and take a shot from behind from Martin Truex Jr. and Greg Biffle, setting his car on fire.
All three were forced to leave the race.
Gordon wasn’t exactly sure what happened after the wreck.
“Something broke in the front of my car,” Gordon said. “Either a tire or something in the suspension. I hate that. We had the car to do it tonight.”
EDWARDS TOOK POLE: NASCAR moved qualifying to the same day as the All-Star race and Carl Edwards grabbed the pole in the most unique qualifying session of the season. Just as they did a year ago, drivers ran three laps that included a mandatory four-tire pit stop with no pit road speed limit.
FAN FAVORITE: Josh Wise beat out Danica Patrick to win the fan vote allowing him to get into the All-Star race. He wasn’t a factor, but still finished in the top 15 after seven cars ended up out of the race due to wrecks.
STARS OUT AT ALL-STAR RACE: The Sprint Cup All-Star race drew plenty of celebrities to Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Country music artist Jake Owen and Grammy-winning band Train performed before the race, while Darius Rucker sang the national anthem.
NFL Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly from the Carolina Panthers was the honorary pace car driver, while former South Carolina Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers and New York Mets pitcher Bobby Parnell also were present.
A GREAT VIEW, BUT …: Scott Burns, the founder of 7 Days for the Troops, will spend the next seven days staying atop of a 20-foot tower in the Fan Zone at CMS.
He was hoisted up Saturday morning and he will remain there until the start of the NASCAR Nationwide race on May 24. Burns’ goal is to raise $75,000 for Purple Heart Homes to help seven disabled service veterans ranging in age from 22 to 66 renovate their homes.
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