Photo: Chris Owens/ASP, Inc.

Dover Ends Early for Kyle Busch after Driveshaft Failure

By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor

Kyle Busch has had a decent amount of success at Dover International Speedway during his career, but over the last few years, the spring race at the concrete mile has been the bane of Busch’s existence. On Sunday, that bad luck streak in the spring race continued.

After qualifying in fourth, Busch was strong early on despite complaints of a vibration that started almost as soon as the green flag dropped. Even with the vibration, Busch finished the first stage in second place and the second stage in third place and looked to continue the run into the final stage, but it wasn’t to be for the No. 18 team.

As he ran inside the top-five, the vibration that Busch had been fighting throughout the day finally came to a head at lap 271 when the driveshaft broke and laid down fluid on the track, bringing his day to a screeching halt.

“It just kept getting worse and worse the more the day was going, especially after restarts it was really, really bad, so I was just trying to bide it out, see if we’d make it to the end,” said Busch. “At first, I thought that it was an engine problem, but that wasn’t the case. It was certainly in the drivetrain – something else. You know, this isn’t very popular of a failure for us, so we have an idea – I already know what was wrong – but we’ve got to go back to the shop and kind of diagnose and figure out why it was wrong and kind of go from there.

“The Pedigree Camry was good – it was top-three car. I felt like barring some different clean air circumstances, you know, and different restart lines and stuff, I felt like I could get up there and race with the 4 (Kevin Harvick) or the 2 (Brad Keselowski), but as bad as that vibration kept getting throughout the race there it was just too hard to handle and finally it threw the shifter knob off the shifter and there was – even when it broke, I could just push the clutch in. I couldn’t even grab the shifter in order to get it knocked out of gear or anything like that. It was so hard – still vibrating so badly. We’ll go on to next week.”

With Sunday’s early retirement and subsequent 35th place finish, four of Busch’s last five spring Dover races have resulted in finishes of 30th or worse.

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.