CONCORD, N.C. — Kyle Busch felt sick for the final 200 laps Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Not only did he blame himself for wrecking a potentially race-winning car, but he also felt much hotter than normal and inhaled carbon monoxide fumes because the crush panels had been damaged in the lap-137 crash.
Busch, who was given ice bags during pit stops, laid on the ground for a couple of minutes after the race and exited the infield care center about 40 minutes after receiving oxygen and fluids.
“I’m all right,” Busch said. “I’m better now. … It just got so hot, that literally, you felt like you were going to puke and just trying to make it to the end of the race and luckily we did.
“And from there, [they were] just trying to get cooled back down and get my body temperature back to normal.” Busch said his carbon monoxide level was “in the double digits.”
“I felt like I had heatstroke just from being inside the race car for 200 laps with the crush panels knocked out of it,” said Busch. “Overall, it was just the hottest I’ve been in the car. … I didn’t feel sick from the CO or anything like that. I just felt heatstroke.”
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver finished 29th, but he still has a 12-point cushion from the current cutoff with two races remaining in the quarterfinal round of 12 as he vies to be among the eight drivers in the semifinal round. “Obviously, it was my bad, trying to get too much, too early in the race,” Busch said about his accident. “I got out too high out of the groove and got myself in the fence. … I threw it away.”
The crash Sunday was a little different than Busch’s crash Friday because he wasn’t running as close to the wall when he got sucked around. On Sunday, he was trying to go a little bit closer to the wall on each lap to gain more speed. He wrecked again later in the race in the same fashion.
“I was just kind of inching it up and inching it up — apparently an inch a lap is too much,” Busch said. “I ended up getting too high and just got crossed up instantly. As soon as I turned up into the corner, it was sideways.”