Kyle Busch was leading Thursday’s second Bluegreen Vacations Duel at Daytona International Speedway, when all of a sudden he received a shot from behind from Daniel Suarez with 20 laps to go. The nudge from the No. 99 Trackhouse Chevrolet sent the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet into the backstretch wall and out of the race.
In the chaos, Austin Hill, who looked like a for sure bet to move into the Daytona 500 starting grid, was swept up in the crash. Travis Pastrana and Riley Herbst were also involved heavily in the crash.
Leader Kyle Busch goes around and into the wall after a push from Daniel Suárez in Duel 2 at Daytona. pic.twitter.com/0MSdU2AG5q
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 17, 2023
After being evaluated and released from the infield care center, Busch explained that he was okay with the pushing from Suarez when it made sense. But Busch felt when the field got single file with 20 laps to go, pushing was not necessary.
“I don’t know why [Suarez pushed me]. We were single file and there was no pressure from the outside,” a dejected Busch said. “Something happened. He gave a push for three straight laps and finally he hit and unloaded the left rear and spun sideways. So, it is what it is.”
After finishing the Duel qualifier in 12th, Daniel Suarez talked about the incident with Busch, and he showed remorse and stated that his goal was obviously not to spin Busch.
“It was unfortunate. You never want that to happen. I felt like the two laps before that, they told me on the radio that we needed to make time. [Larson] was being more aggressive to me pushing me. I told them that [Busch] was dragging brake because it was so easy to push him, but I guess he wasn’t. But I was getting so much energy from [Larson] and I was just pushing to hard. [Larson] was pushing pretty hard to me and I was pushing pretty hard to [Busch].”
While Suarez didn’t mean to crash Busch from the lead, it’ll be interesting to see what happens if Busch and Suarez are needing to rely on one another late in Sunday’s Daytona 500.