Kyle Busch watched the NASCAR Truck Series race at Talladega with special interest toward the end as his driver John Hunter Nemechek was in position to win the race while in the midst of a tight playoff battle for the season championship. However, Busch, along with the fans in the stands and those watching on TV, knew anything could happen in the final lap at a superspeedway. And it did with multiple trucks crashing across the finish line, including Nemechek and race winner Tate Fogleman.
After the race, the Talladega track president made a comment over the public address system about the finish and how he welcomed the sight of the winner’s destroyed truck. Busch didn’t take too kindly to those remarks and took to Twitter to voice his displeasure.
Kyle Busch truck team vying for championship
Kyle Busch knows this season his Kyle Busch Motorsports team is in prime position to earn its third Truck Series championship. John Hunter Nemechek and Chandler Smith both made the playoffs, advanced to the Round of 8, and came into Talladega looking to maintain their respective positions before the cutoff race at Martinsville and a chance to advance to the championship round in Phoenix.
On Saturday, Smith finished 19th after a mid-race accident took him out of contention. Nemechek, who was near the top of the playoff standings coming into the race, headed into the final lap at Talladega in the second position, directly behind race leader Todd Gilliland.
Coming down to the final turns, Nemechek dove down below Gilliland, moved into the lead, and appeared destined for victory. However, on the final turn, the No. 4 KBM truck sailed up the track, opening the door for Tate Fogleman, who gladly stepped through and clipped Nemechek, sending him spinning. Fogleman held off Tyler Hill for a photo finish, which ended with both trucks crashing, the winner’s truck destroyed after hitting the inside wall.
The 21-year-old Fogleman, who won for the first time in his career, didn’t immediately conduct a postrace interview because he took the required ambulance ride to the infield care center, where he was examined and released.
Kyle Busch calls out Talladega track president for comments
Immediately following the race, with both trucks still on the infield and the safety team making sure the drivers were OK, Talladega track president Brian Crichton spoke about the finish, specifically Fogleman, over the PA system.
“That’s the way a truck should look when it finishes a race at Talladega Superspeedway,” he said of the mangled No. 12 truck.
Kyle Busch didn’t like the end result of the race because his driver didn’t win. But he also didn’t care for Crichton’s remarks and let it be known on Twitter.
“That’s a pathetic way to sell it,” Busch tweeted with an angry face.
Personally knows danger of crashing at superspeedway
There’s no denying the Truck Series finish at Talladega was exciting with multiple trucks beating and banging until they crossed the finish line. Busch and most fans are OK with that part. It’s the crashing when traveling at speeds topping 180 miles per hour where things get dicey.
If anyone knows about the dangers of crashing at a superspeedway, it’s Busch. Just six years ago at Daytona, the two-time Cup Series champion was involved in a violent crash during the closing laps of the Xfinity Series race. It was similar to Fogleman’s accident on Saturday in that Busch got off track and was effectively a passenger, helplessly riding in his car until it slammed into the inside wall.
Busch suffered a compound fracture of his right leg and a fractured left foot. He missed the first 11 races of the 2015 season.
Busch, while often criticized for his whining, is right in this particular complaint. True race fans enjoy action where the trucks or cars bang on each other, even to the finish line. But violent crashes that destroy vehicles and can cause serious injury are something no race fan or track president should want, much less announce over the PA system.