NASCAR Cup Series
A Lot Happened at the End of the Coca Cola 600
May 30, 2022
Somehow, Chris Buescher went for a barrel roll after spinning into the infield at Charlotte Motor Speedway with 45 laps left to go in the Coca Cola 600 on Sunday night.
The Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing No. 17 flipped end-over-end for almost five full revolutions before coming to a stop at the end of the road course chicane. The window net was immediately released, a signal to safety workers that the driver was unharmed. The process to flip the car back over and extract the driver took an excruciatingly long five minutes but Buescher was checked and released from the infield care center.
The incident began when Daniel Suarez pushed tight up the trioval and went around, where he was slammed by Todd Gilliland and sent into the path of Buescher. The No. 17 spun into the turf where the right front tire or A frame rail dug into the ground triggered the rollover.
"It looks like the tire, the wheel was damaged, suspension broke off as we were sliding and just pogo'd the car up in the air," Buescher said.
Even though a NASCAR official said safety workers had practice a rollover, this is the first time it was done in reality.
"I think that was the first time with this car — they have to figure that out, right?" Buescher said. "Obviously you always want it to be a little faster, but you do appreciate it. They did a good job."
"Holy cow -- that doesn’t look real," said leader Ross Chastain over his radio when he saw the replay on the video board during the resulting red flag.
As for the incident that began the crash, Suarez said it was another case of aero tight on a tri-oval.
"I got tight," Suarez sad. "They were side by side in front of me. I didn't think I was that close, but I got extremely tight. It was late in the race and I was just pushing too hard. It's heartbreaking, really."