Chaos & ‘Crappy Parts’ Derail NASCAR’s Trip to Bristol

Kyle Busch

Getty Kyle Busch walks to his hauler after an engine failure.

The Round of 16 came to an end at Bristol Motor Speedway. Christopher Buescher won while roughly half of the NASCAR Cup Series field dealt with significant tire or mechanical issues, which created a considerable amount of chaos.

Harrison Burton was the first to encounter setbacks. He had a tire go down three separate times early in the race. Though multiple other Ford drivers had the same problem during the course of the race. This list included Austin Cindric, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney among others.

The Toyota drivers, for comparison, had significant mechanical issues. Martin Truex Jr., Bubba Wallace, and Ty Gibbs all had power steering failures while Kyle Busch’s Toyota Camry began suddenly spewing smoke and fluids after an engine failure. Of these drivers, only Wallace was able to complete the race.

“Yeah, it blew the seal out and pushed all the fluid out on the right front tire,” Truex said after exiting the race. “Just unbelievable. What’d [Kevin] Harvick say? Crappy parts.”

“It was exactly what we thought it might be,” Elliott told media members after the race. “You know, power steering problems that have been a topic of conversation, there’s tire issues as well. I think we were on the conservative side of life with that stuff just to try to make it through. We ended up having a shot [at the win].”


Some Drivers Battled & Moved on Despite Mechanical Issues

Ty Gibbs

GettyTy Gibbs failed to finish the Bristol race due to mechanical issues.

Multiple Toyota drivers, as well as Chevrolet’s Alex Bowman, all lost power steering early in the 500-lap race. These issues were not all the same considering that some drivers headed to the garage while others continued racing. Bowman, in particular, finished sixth in Stage 2 and locked himself into the Round of 12 after losing power steering.

There were multiple other drivers that mentioned steering issues. This list includes Denny Hamlin, who finished ninth, and Chase Briscoe, who finished 14th and moved on to the Round of 12.

“I didn’t have [power steering] the whole race,” Briscoe told media members after the race. “It was… my arms were smoked. Yeah, that was not the most fun. It was ripping the wheel out of my hands every time I ran the bottom. The top was a little bit easier, so I kind of had to run the top no matter what just to try to last.”

Briscoe continued and said that Bristol was a track that would put any flaws on full display due to the load that it puts on the Next Gen cars. Kyle Larson made similar comments when he said that this is “what you get” with the spec parts in reference to the multiple failures.


A Different Issue Kicked off the ‘Big One’ & Eliminated Multiple Drivers

Austin Dillon

GettyA crash eliminated Austin Dillon from the playoffs.

Mechanical and tire issues disrupted the race for several drivers, including some in the playoffs. Another unexpected issue also led to “the big one” that collected multiple other drivers battling to stay above the elimination line.

Daniel Suarez, whose car bounced around all night long, lost control during a restart. He spun into the side of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and kicked off a chain reaction. The wreck collected Austin Dillon, Tyler Reddick, Todd Gilliland, Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, and Landon Cassill among others.

Reddick’s team was able to make enough repairs to get the No. 8 back on the track. He finished the race, but he missed out on making it to the Round of 12 by a mere two points. Bowman also headed to the garage, but he had already clinched his spot in the next round. Dillon’s night ended after the DVP clock expired, which eliminated him from the playoffs.

“[I was] just pushing the car too hard,” Suarez said in his post-race media availability. “The car was very bad. Probably one of the worst race cars I have had this year and just trying to get more than the car can take, and I spun out.”

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