AVONDALE, Ariz. — After a solid first qualifying lap at the Phoenix International Raceway 1-mile oval Friday, Busch’s No. 78 Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevrolet SS scraped the wall during the second lap due to a malfunction in the coolant system.
The damage (right-front and right-side) was enough that the team will go to the backup car for Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sprint Cup race.
“Kurt did a great job saving the car from further damage,” said team crew chief Todd Berrier.
The culprit for the loss of grip was a parts breakage in the coolant system that sprayed water under the tires, causing Busch to wiggle and eventually lose control of the car.
“The Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevy steered to the right, brushed the wall and we’ll be in a backup car come Sunday,” said Busch. “You would think after Daytona we would fare a little better. But right now we need to suck it up and battle through this adversity.”
Going to a backup car will result in Kurt starting Sunday’s race from the rear of the field.
Busch was credited with the 25th fastest speed based on his first lap, which is usually the slower of the two. His first lap time and speed were: 26.618 seconds at 135.247 miles per hour.
The pole winner was: Mark Martin (138.074 mph). Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman.
Sunday’s race will be televised on FOX, beginning with a 30-minute prerace show at 12:30 p.m. MT (2:30 p.m. ET).