It what many started out thinking was going to be a single-file snooze fest, the 2019 Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway yesterday ended up being an expensive day for a lot of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Teams. That included the new team of No. 1 driver, Kurt Busch. Busch sat down after Sunday’s race to report what he saw.
Ultimately, the checkered flag went to Jimmie Johnson, winning under a red flag, as the rain stopped the race several times. But it was the contact at the front between No. 21 driver, Paul Menard and Johnson that ended up being most of the day’s real action and drama.
Kurt Busch said it was a pretty wild race. He said he had his eye on his younger brother, Kyle Busch.
“I was watching my little brother,” he said.
“He just went and passed like 15 cars under yellow, and then they almost went back green. I’m like, all right, we’ve got to get all this straightened out, but it just seemed like everybody was really antsy. The draft is still pretty tough to gauge, and then with all the rain, it was start, stop, start, stop, so today was a how‑you‑can‑juggle‑it‑the‑best.”
Little Brother Wingman
With the pair of Busch brothers racing near to each other a lot during the Clash, Kurt Busch said he felt like he had a good wing man in his younger brother behind him.
“…it just didn’t quite materialize in the fashion that I hoped it would have, but everybody that’s running up front is smart and they’re trying to protect their track position, and when you don’t know when the rain is going to come for its final time, everybody is elbows out and antsy and you’re just hoping that you’re the leader when the biggest raindrops hit,” he said.
Kurt Busch’s View of the Menard/Johnson Contact
Kurt Busch said Johnson’s move on Menard for the lead was in the no-zone.
“I call it the no‑zone — in that left rear quarter panel for way too long, and it just drug Menard around with him, and that’s some of the instability in the draft that these cars show,” Busch said.
“And that’s why we end up single file a lot is just trying to make sure we’re making our move because sometimes your final‑‑ your move is your last move because the cars are so unstable.”
He added that you never know when the cars are going to have a lack of traction with the tires.
“…but when you challenge the air and with Jimmie’s run that he had on Menard, just seemed like he stayed there for a long time to do the side draft, and that just gave it more momentum for Menard’s car to have a bigger wiggle, and then it looked like Jimmie had to go and duck below the double yellow to try to clear the cars from spinning, and yet that’s a pass for the lead, and he went below the double yellow, and here we are, we’re the next guy that didn’t have problems,” he said.
“It’s like one of those judgment calls. It was close, we almost got the win today with the Monster Energy Chevy, but you’ve just got to try not to make mistakes, and I think we did okay.”