Wait, Did the Martin Truex Jr. Crew Deliberately Run Into Kyle Busch

Those watching last Sunday’s race at Dover Motor Speedway caught an interesting sight. Right after the race, Kyle Busch was in pit lane getting interviewed. Trying to explain what went wrong, and hold in his frustrations, mostly at Martin Truex Jr., when it looked like he got bumped from behind. Busch stopped the interview, turned, tried to move up out of the way. “Just run me over,” he said.

What was hard to see immediately, but later was clear, it was Martin Truex Jr.’s crew, pushing his No. 19 down the pit lane, that nearly ran into Busch. Was it on purpose?

No Friends in Pit Lane

It’s been a frustrating year so far for Kyle Busch. No wins, just two Top 5’s so far, Busch currently sits in 11th place. The Wurth 400 at Dover Motor Speedway las Sunday, April 28, looked to improve Busch’s fortunes. He took pole in qualifying but could not seem to catch the leaders the whole race. He finished fourth. He blamed Martin Truex Jr., in part, for his poor finish.

In his interview right after the race, with FOX’s Regan Smith, Busch detailed the biggest issues: “the aero blocking is just so bad. It’s so bad and everybody knows it and uses it as a defense item. We lost a straightaway to (Martin Truex Jr). That’s what frustrated me the most was that he (Truex) was slower. He was slow and just would not give me an inch in order to be able to get by. He about wrecked us twice.” Right about then, Truex Jr.’s crew was pushing his No. 19 down pit lane and ran into Busch. “Just run me over, okay? It’s cool,” Busch said.

“I’d love to have a lot more normal days. We just can’t seem to get any.”- Kyle Busch pic.twitter.com/PAmoKruJpg

— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) April 28, 2024


Probably, there wasn’t much room and the tired crew was rushing to finish their work. But not everyone will see it that way. For starters, it seemed like the crew pushing the car was staring right at Busch.

Busch made it clear that Truex Jr.’s “aero blocking” late in the race cost him a top 3 finish, maybe the win. Busch is no fan of the aero blocking and has issues with the Next Gen car on short tracks, that much is clear. It’s also clear that Busch, who races for RCR, used to drive for Joe Gibbs Racing–Martin Truex Jr.’s team. Truex Jr. is currently in second place. Also with no wins, but he has six top 10 finishes.

Both Kyles Express Frustrations Over the Next Gen Car

Kyle Busch is used to hunting for wins. This year, and with this car, that’s not been the case. Since his top 5 finish in Atlanta in February, Busch has had just two top 10’s. Dover looked like it could be a turning point for Busch, the car, and the crew. So it’s no wonder Busch was frustrated that he couldn’t get past Truex Jr. in a slower car. It’s also worth noting that after the race, Kyle Larson, who finished second behind race winner, Denny Hamlin, expressed similar concerns. The Next Gen car is more susceptible to aerodynamic issues–and aero-blocking. This is especially true on short tracks, but overall it’s just harder for cars to pass. While some cars, like Busch’s No. 8, may be especially susceptible to these issues, it’s not the only one. And drivers in front use this to their advantage.

As Kyle Larson said in his post-race interview, “you know, I thought maybe I could catch him (Hamlin) off guard and shoot to the bottom.” But the aero-blocking prevented it. What’s interesting is that Larson then proposed a solution–one that’s actually workable right away. “I don’t know if (Hamlin) runs a camera but he probably does, and it’s really easy, I shot down to the bottom, and he pulled down to the bottom, so it’s just really easy with the cameras and the car, to air-block.” Larson’s solution: get rid of the cameras.

By removing the in-car cameras, drivers in front won’t have such a clear, instant view of what the car behind them is doing. They’ll need to rely more on skill and instinct and can’t just use cameras to mimic the moves of the driver behind and use the aero blocking to stay ahead. Go back to rearview mirrors only, basically, is what Larson is suggesting. It just might work. And improve the racing. But we fans love the video from those in-car cameras. They also make racing safer.

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