HomeSportsKyle Busch out early after Gateway crash with Kyle Larson

Kyle Busch out early after Gateway crash with Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch crashed on the final lap of Stage 2 of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway in Gateway.

The pair of former champions were riding in the top 10 before the incident.

RELATED: Race results

Larson was racing to Busch’s left entering Turn 1 when his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet bit sideways. That slide led him straight to Busch, who slammed the SAFER barrier on the outside in Turn 2. The incident ended Busch’s day after the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet led 15 laps, its first laps at the front since Kansas on May 5.

Busch, the defending winner at Gateway, will instead leave with his first DNF of the season and first since the September 2023 playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway.

“It looked like he came off the front, I think, right into Turn 1,” Busch told reporters after being evaluated and released from the infield care center. “He was on older tires and tried to get us ahead of a spot. I’m not sure what that one point would really mean for him, but it certainly hurt us a lot because (it) took away that point as well as the others we would get for the podium and then for the rest of the day as well. So very frustrating.

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“We can’t afford days like that,” continued Busch, who leaves Gateway with his fourth finish of 15th or worse in the past six races. “The Rebel Camaro wasn’t what it was last year, but it was a top 10 car and that’s where we would finish. But (now) we’re not going to finish at all.”

MORE: Watch Busch’s post-crash interview

While Busch finished 35th, Larson, a two-time winner this year, continued despite the contact to finish 10th. The 2021 Cup champion missed last week’s Coca-Cola 600 after competing in the Indianapolis 500 as weather thwarted his attempt at the 1,100-mile double.

“We got to the end of that stage and I was a little bit better than him,” Larson told reporters after the race. “Left (Turn) 4 to pull him aside and barely touched his quarter panel. Don’t know. I think it scared him, and he pressed himself against me. I honestly thought I had a flat tire when I was driving 1 because he was just spinning in reverse, but I think he just took the air out of me and just spun around.

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Contributors: Dustin Albino

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