Kyle Busch’s engine failed at Lap 269 at Bristol Motor Speedway, sending the No. 18 Toyota behind the wall and ultimately ending his chances to advance in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
Busch lost his motor after scoring 14 stage points in the Bass Pro Shops Night Race, providing a little extra cushion. The Las Vegas native, the series’ only active multi-time champion, has faced adversity in each race in the Round of 16. While leading under caution at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 4, the engine expired on his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing entry. Last week at Kansas, Busch spun at the exit of Turn 4 and finished 26th.
“Absolutely devastated,” Busch said. “Just unfortunate circumstances obviously. Another engine failure this week. Obviously we’re already in a hole, this just puts us in a deeper one. I can’t stress it enough just how much I feel for my guys, the ones that are out there pouring their souls into this effort and opportunity for us to go race for a championship. It’s not fair to them. I just hate it for those guys and Rowdy Nation and M&M’s and Interstate Batteries. I mean, we all want better and we all should have better. It’s just not coming to us right now.”
Since NASCAR introduced the elimination-style playoffs in 2014, Busch had never failed to advance out of the Round of 16, with a worst points finish of 10th in 2014. Busch finished Saturday night’s race two points below the elimination line and will not be eligible to win the 2022 Cup Series title.