Jimmie Johnson may have dominated at the half mile track and Danica Patrick may have had the most impressive run in her short Sprint Cup Series career but the most memorable moment from yesterday's STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville Speedway was a ball of flames.
Kurt Busch started 19th and patiently drove his No. 78 Furniture Row/Serta Chevrolet SS to the front of the field. By Lap 195, he had entered the top-10. Lap 270 saw Busch headed to pit road with a flat left-front tire after a tangle with Joey Logano which put him 2 laps down. By Lap 292, he had gained one lap back and was on the verge of getting the "Lucky Dog" position when a nudge from David Gilliland sent Busch spinning on the track.
Little did Busch know, his struggles were just beginning. Lap 351 saw Busch heading to the garage with a fuel pump issue. Shortly thereafter, he returned to the track and all seemed to be working properly. Busch was running 38th and more than 20 laps down with 14 laps to go when his Furniture Row Chevy suddenly shot up into the outside wall and burst into flames.
Coming into turn 1, his car lost its brakes and instead of careening into the corner and taking out his fellow competitors, Busch instead turned the wheel to the right and slid up into the wall. Flames bellowed out from under the hood of his car as it came to its final resting place at the top of the track.
"Something happened with the brakes," Busch said during his post-race interview. "The pedal felt spongy going into three and four and I gave it a courtesy pump and it came to. I go down the front straightaway and gave it another courtesy pup and it went straight to the floor. Something failed with it and I just turned it to the right and fenced it instead of running head on into the fence."
Busch quickly climbed out from the cockpit of the car but not before hitting his in-car extinguisher on the dash. Despite the wreck, the eldest Busch brother was optimistic and positive saying that although it's been a tough year so far, he isn't giving up just yet.
Want to watch his crash? Click here.