Kyle Busch started Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway from the pole. Eight laps in, he was in the garage.
While leading, Busch reported rain from the third lap on. At one point, he came over the radio and said, “It’s raining, dude” to his spotter Tony Hirschman.
Come lap 7, the No. 18 Toyota drove down into Turn 1 and wrecked because of moisture on the racetrack. Martin Truex Jr., the second-place runner, was also involved, backing his No. 19 Toyota into the wall. Further back, Denny Hamlin spun as well.
A shocking turn of events at @NHMS!
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) July 18, 2021
“We started the race under a mist, so it should have never gone green to begin with,” Busch told NBC Sports. “But it kept getting worse and worse lap by lap. The lap before, I went into [Turn] 1 and it shoved the nose really bad. I was able to keep it under control because it wasn‘t wet enough.
“The next time I went down there and lifted at the flag stand — maybe a little past the flag stand, don‘t get too dramatic — and just backed it in. We‘d been talking about it for two laps that it had been raining.”
Meanwhile, Busch’s crew chief, Ben Beshore, doesn’t blame NASCAR for throwing the initial green flag. He was content with that decision, though multiple drivers reported a wet racetrack under the pace laps.
“With [the weepers] being down low, it‘s not really on the racing surface so I didn‘t have a problem with them throwing the green flag,” Beshore told Jayski.com. “The mist started like lap 2 and progressed into rain.
“Unfortunate that we tore up [the car]. Leading, so it‘s just a tough deal all around.”
Beshore admitted he’d never been a part of something where a wet racetrack costed him a racecar and shot at a victory.
Because of the unique circumstance, the No. 18 team asked NASCAR officials if they could work on the car during the red flag.
Ultimately, the team decided the car was flat out wrecked.
“The car is beat up enough where, even if we did work on it, I don‘t know if it‘s the right call to send [Busch] back out there,” Beshore said. “It would take a ton of work to get the thing in a drivable state.”
Busch will get credited with a 37th-place finish. It’s the second year in a row his race was over within the first 15 laps at New Hampshire.