LAKE BEUNA VISTA, Fla. (AP) – Greg Biffle dislocated his right shoulder in a fiery accident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and was unable to attend the Busch Series banquet Friday night.

Biffle was injured Thursday during a tire test for Goodyear in Las Vegas. He blew a tire, causing him to hit the wall between the first and second turns. The accident broke the fuel pump and caused his Ford to burst into flames.

Kyle Busch, the other driver at the test, was trailing Biffle at the time of the accident and helped Biffle escape from his burning car.

Biffle flew home to North Carolina after the accident and was examined Friday by Dr. Jerry Petty, who discovered the injury and advised Biffle not to travel to Walt Disney World for the Busch banquet.

Biffle finished ninth in the series standings after running in 30 of the 35 events.

Biffle apologized for missing the banquet.

“It was a privilege and a great pleasure for me to continue to be a competitor … in NASCAR’s Busch Series this season,” he said in a statement. “I love racing in the Busch Series and I plan to continue to do so for many years.”

Goodyear tested tires Wednesday and Thursday at Las Vegas, which added 20 degrees of banking this year. The tire company must find the correct compound to bring to a NASCAR-sanctioned test at the track in late January, and the Nextel Cup event there in March. Stu Grant, Goodyear’s director of worldwide racing, said Biffle’s failed tire was being sent back to the Akron, Ohio, plant for analysis. Grant said the right front tire failed without warning on the 36th of a 40-lap run.

AP-ES-12-08-06 1749EST

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