Race Weekend Central

Kyle Busch Bumped By Daniel Suarez, Major Duel Wreck Ensues

Kyle Busch looked like he was in perfect position to win his first Bluegreen Vacations Duel driving the No. 8 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing.

Instead, the race ended in disaster, leaving a potential 2023 Daytona 500-winning car a pile of scrap metal.

Busch led a race-high 28 laps and was out front on lap 42 when second-place Daniel Suarez bumped him a little too hard on the backstretch. It sent Busch turning hard right, slamming into the outside wall and bouncing back in front of traffic.

When all was said and done, Busch, Austin Hill, Riley Herbst and Travis Pastrana were out of the race. At least Busch will be heading to a backup car for the 500.

“I don’t know why,” Busch said. “We were single file. There was no pressure from the outside. There was nothing happening. Just getting pushed for two straight laps and finally, it didn’t want to hang on anymore.”

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Suarez soldiered on to finish seventh and was apologetic after the incident, making clear he’ll talk to Busch and clear the air before Sunday’s (Feb. 20) Daytona 500.

“It was unfortunate,” Suarez said. “You never want that to happen. Two laps before that, they told me on the radio, I want you to start making time. The No. 5 [Kyle Larson]was being more aggressive to me, pushing me, and I thought that the No. 8 was actually dragging brake because I was able to push him so easy.

“But I guess he wasn’t. I was getting so much energy from the [No.] 5 that I was just pushing too hard.”

Busch has never won the Daytona 500 in 17 career starts; only Martin Truex Jr. has a longer drought in the Great American Race among active drivers.

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About the author

The author of Did You Notice? (Wednesdays) Tom spends his time overseeing Frontstretch’s 40+ staff members as its majority owner and Editor-in-Chief. Based outside Philadelphia, Bowles is a two-time Emmy winner in NASCAR television and has worked in racing production with FOX, TNT, and ESPN while appearing on-air for SIRIUS XM Radio and FOX Sports 1's former show, the Crowd Goes Wild. He most recently consulted with SRX Racing, helping manage cutting-edge technology and graphics that appeared on their CBS broadcasts during 2021 and 2022.

You can find Tom’s writing here, at CBSSports.com and Athlonsports.com, where he’s been an editorial consultant for the annual racing magazine for 15 years.

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janice

i’m still trying to figure out why the bumping was so continuous so early in the race. and why, after all these years, do they still not bump draft square in the center of the rear bumper? if you hit by the edge more than likely you’ll spin out the car in front of you.

i guess suarez knew if he went high to try to pass the 8 he would had been sucked to the end of the line.

RCFX1

It’s a good thing that they aren’t allowed to push each other. Could have been an accident.

Tom B

Did Childress take off his watch looking Suarez?

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