Toyota president: Kyle Busch's Darlington and Bristol engine problems had something in common

Kyle Busch's engine failures at Darlington and Bristol were linked.
Busch had engine problems in two of the first three races of the playoffs and was therefore eliminated before the second round. Busch missed the second lap by two points after having to retire early at Bristol because of this engine problem.
Toyota Racing Development president David Wilson told NBC that Busch missed a shift at Darlington and that NASCAR's Bristol gear ratios were partly to blame. He said Toyota addressed stability issues with its engines when its drivers hit the NASCAR-mandated rev limiter. Busch's engine hit the limiter and over revved in the Darlington incident, and Busch often hit the limiter at Bristol because of NASCAR's gear ratios.
Before Darlington, Busch had only had to retire twice from a race because of an engine problem since 2016.
"We have some sort of instability in our valvetrain and it seems interestingly triggered by us going into NASCAR's mandated rev limiter," Wilson said.
At Darlington, Busch missed an upshift from fourth to fifth gear, contributing to the engine failure. “He really fired up the rev limiter,” Wilson said, “and a lap and a half later his engine died. Well, just to be clear, our stuff should be durable enough. It should be tough enough to deal with.
“At Bristol, NASCAR miscalculated the gear ratio. It was too short. As Kyle, especially when driving in the top groove in fifth gear, he hit the rev limiter almost every lap. The fact is we just don't have enough durability margin in our valve train at the moment. That's on us.”
NASCAR's mandated gear ratios were a test for teams and drivers throughout the 2022 season with the new Cup Series car. The gear ratios have even resulted in riders shifting on the corners on some oval circuits and ahead of the Bristol race there was discussion that some riders would downshift on the corners.
Busch is the only active driver in the Cup Series to have more than one title. Busch won the 2015 and 2019 Cup Series titles for Joe Gibbs Racing and became the first driver to win a Cup title for Toyota with that championship in 2015.
2022 was Busch's last shot at a title with JGR and Toyota. He announced a week ago that he will join Chevrolet and Richard Childress Racing in 2023. Busch left JGR after longtime sponsor M&M Mars said 2022 would be his last season as his sponsor and he was unable to agree on a contract extension for the team without a new sponsor in place.
BRISTOL, TN - SEPTEMBER 17: Kyle Busch (#18 Joe Gibbs Racing M&M's Toyota) develops engine problems during the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Bass Pro Shops Night Race on September 17, 2022 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN. (Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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