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Busch's HANS device cracked during Talladega crash

5/3/2007

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- NASCAR on Monday tried to figure out why
Kyle Busch's HANS device cracked during a spectacular crash at
Talladega Superspeedway.

The frustrated driver, meanwhile, was trying to make sense of
two hard wrecks that ruined his weekend.

Busch wrecked in Saturday's Busch Series event, when he was hit
from behind and his car ended up on its roof before rolling several
times through the grass. His HANS device, a NASCAR-mandated
head-and-neck restraint system, cracked in the accident.

"It performed the way it was supposed to, but it had a slight
stress crack in it after the accident," NASCAR spokesman Kerry
Tharp said.

NASCAR sent the device back to manufacturer Hubbard Downing in
Georgia for examination.

Busch, who also wrecked hard in Sunday's Nextel Cup event, has
not seen the device but was told by his crew it had cracked. He
wasn't overly concerned about it since he wasn't injured in the
accident.

"I've been in some pretty bad wrecks, but that was the first
time I ever got upside down or anything," he said. "It wasn't
fun. It wasn't too terribly bad when I was on the roof going down
the straightaway, but when it headed toward the grass I planned for
the worst.

"I flipped my visor open and put my hands in my helmet to grab
on, then I tucked down and got in the fetal position and planned
for the worst. I just wanted to support my head as best I could for
when it started flipping."

Busch doesn't like the grass that lines parts of the backstretch
at Talladega, and believes it might have caused his car to flip.
The car initially skid on its roof, and didn't begin flipping until
it hit the grass.

"That's definitely an issue that maybe Talladega can take care
of for us," he said. "They did the repave job and took most of
the grass out, but there's still some there and the car didn't roll
until I got to it. I would have much happier sliding on my roof all
the way."

Busch said he plans to speak to NASCAR officials about it this
weekend.

NASCAR is already aware of the complaint, and said the track
removed considerable amounts of grass when it was repaved last
year. What's left is used for drainage.

Busch, who turns 22 this week, said he's frustrated after a poor
month of racing in which he wrecked two cars in Texas, a Busch car
in Phoenix and then the two accidents at Talladega.

"It's devastating," he said. "I don't know what to do and if
there was something I could change I would. I didn't wreck a car
all year and then the past month ... all of a sudden we can't do
anything right and can't avoid anything."