Kyle Busch’s Darlington and Bristol engine problems had something in common

Kyle Busch’s Darlington and Bristol engine problems had something in common

Kyle Busch had engine failures at Darlington and Bristol.

Busch had engine problems in two of the first three races of the playoffs and was retired before the second round. Busch lost out in the second round by two points after retiring early in Bristol due to engine problems.

Toyota Racing Development president David Wilson told NBC that Busch missed a shift at Darlington and that NASCAR’s gear ratios at Bristol were partly to blame. He said Toyota was dealing with stability issues with its engines when its drivers hit the NASCAR-mandated rev limiter. Busch’s engine hit the limiter and was too revved in the Darlington incident and Busch hit the limiter a lot at Bristol due to NASCAR’s gear ratios.

Before Darlington, Busch had to leave a race early due to engine problems just twice since 2016.

“We have some kind of instability in our valvetrain and it seems to be triggered when we run into the NASCAR mandated limiter, which is quite interesting,” Wilson said.

At Darlington, Busch missed a shift from fourth to fifth gear, which contributed to the engine failure. “He yanked on the rev limiter really hard,” Wilson said, “and after a turn and a half, his engine just fired. Now, to be clear, our objects should be pretty durable. That should be pretty tough to handle.

“At Bristol, NASCAR miscalculated the gear ratio. It was too short. When Kyle, especially when he was running that upper groove in fifth gear, he was hitting the rev limiter, almost every lap. The reality is that we don’t have enough margin of survival in our valve train right now. That’s on us.”

NASCAR’s mandated gear ratios have been a test for teams and drivers during the 2022 season with the new Cup Series car. Due to the even gear ratios drivers changed in the corners at a few oval tracks and there was discussion before the Bristol race that some drivers would change in the corners.

Busch is the only active Cup Series driver with more than one title. Busch won the 2015 and 2019 Cup Series titles for Joe Gibbs Racing and became the first driver to win a Cup title for Toyota with that 2015 championship.

2022 was Busch’s last chance at a title with JGR and Toyota. He announced a week ago that he was going to Chevrolet and Richard Childress Racing in 2023. Busch left JGR after longtime sponsor M&M Mars said 2022 would be his last season as a sponsor and he could not come agree on a contract extension with him. the team without a new sponsor in place.

BRISTOL, TN - SEPTEMBER 17: Kyle Busch (#18 Joe Gibbs Racing M&M's Toyota) develops engine problems during the NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Playoff Night Race on September 17, 2022 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN.  (Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

BRISTOL, TN – SEPTEMBER 17: Kyle Busch (#18 Joe Gibbs Racing M&M’s Toyota) develops engine problems during the Bass Pro Shops NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Night Race held on September 17, 2022 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN. (Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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