Chris Trotman / Getty Images
Major penalties are headed straight toward his team after they failed to secure his rear left wheel during Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive For Autism event at Dover International Speedway.
At his afternoon pit stop of the day, Kyle Busch, who had started in the pole position, found himself in quite a sticky situation. His No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing crew didn’t hit the mark and left Busch with only three wheels secured before he sped off toward the track again.
From video footage of the pit area, it looks like the crew dropped the jack before any of the lug nuts were in place on his rear left wheel and as Busch headed back toward the track, the wheel dropped off and forced him to drive a full lap before returning to the pit.
Anyone who’s been around NASCAR even the slightest bit knows that lug nuts are a touchy subject and failing to secure even one can bring massive penalties to crew.
NASCAR issued some stiff penalties to Busch’s crew on Wednesday (June 7th) and suspended three of his crew members for four races after the serious faux pas. His crew chief, tire changer and tire carrier for the rear left wheel were all suspended, not returning until July 3rd.
Previously, the team owner, Joe Gibbs, had spoken to USA Today Sports about the incident, saying that he was hoping they’d be able to dodge a penalty.
“Hopefully, what they understand is we didn’t even get the wheel on the car, really, and we didn’t even have a chance to hit lug nuts,” Gibbs said. “So, that’s what we’re going to explain to them and then its up to them.”
There’s no telling how this will affect Busch and his season, but losing three crew members for nearly a month’s worth of races isn’t good news for anyone. After the flub, Busch restarted at 37th and finished 16th during Sunday’s race.
Watch the full coverage of his wheel incident below and let us know what you think will happen in the comments.
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