Don’t expect Kurt Busch to be sending Brad Keselowski a Christmas card this year. The NASCAR Sprint Cup champions both memorable races during the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway Sunday. Busch has happy memories after winning his first Sprint Cup race since 2011 and since joining Stewart-Haas Racing.
Keselowski however had a race he will probably want to forget.
The trouble started during the second caution period on lap 40. In the pits as he was leaving his stall, Keselowski was forced to move out towards the outside wall to avoid the Chevy of Kasey Kahne who was coming into a pit stall in front of him. As Keselowski moved out though, he collided with the Chevy of Busch who was making his way back to the track. The ensuing damage on his Ford forced Keselowski into the garage. He would return 31 laps down. As his crew made repairs, Keselowski gave his view of the incident.
“I started to check up and I just barely got in the back of him,” Keselowski said. “Kurt (Busch) just accelerated and drove through us, absolutely drove through us. I tell you what, I’m about tired of his recklessness. Kurt tore the whole suspension off the car, so it won’t turn, it won’t do anything.”
“Thanks Kurt, appreciate it buddy,” he added sarcastically.
After returning to the track with his Ford missing the front sheet metal, Keselowski sought out Busch and the two cars made contact on several occasions.
“Guess we get to get in a fight afterwards,” an angry Busch said on his radio. “Because I'm going to go f*** that dude's f***ing face up!”
The two eventually moved away from each other and settled in. Despite telling his crew that they we’re “done for the day” Busch went on to win. Keselowski was scored 38th.
After the race, a celebratory Busch didn’t want to talk about the incident.
"We won,” Busch said when asked about the incident. “We're not worried about any of that nonsense right now. We are a winner. We're not guaranteed in the Chase but we have a win and we're moving forward. Thanks a lot to everyone on this team. I can't thank them enough."
Keselowski however was more than willing to talk about the incident post race when asked.
“The replay shows it,” Keselowski said. “We jumbled up on pit road and he just drove right through me and ruined our day. We probably had a race-winning car and it doesn’t matter. That’s the way it goes.”
Keselowski added that he would not soon forget what had happened.
“I’ll remember that when it’s lap 50 and he needs a break and he’ll find his ass turned around in the wall just like he tore my car up,” he said. “That stuff will come around. Once or twice when it happens you go, ‘Oh, it happens,’ but when it happens repeatedly then you just realize who the person is that’s at fault and you just have to make sure that you show them you’re not gonna take that, and I’m not gonna take that. I know this 2 team is not gonna take it. We had a race-winning car today, instead we finished thirty-whatever with the whole front end tore off of it. That’s inexcusable and I’m not gonna put up with that.”
The Penske Racing driver was once a teammate to Busch, and said he has always had a certain measure of respect for him.
“I still do,” Keselowski said. “He does awesome things for charity and he’s probably the most talented race car driver, but he’s also one of the dumbest, so put those three together.”
However even after the race, Keselowski was still angry enough that he wanted to confront Busch.
“Tell him come here. I’m right here,” Keselowski said. “He knows where I’m at. Leave victory lane and we’ll go.”
Late in the day Sunday, Busch was again asked about the incident and gave his take on it. Busch also hinted that the future for him and his former teammate might be different moving forward.
“Brad drove into the No. 5 car on pit road and I was just going around a wrecked car and then he turned into our door,” Busch said. “You know accidents happen on pit road and then he drug it out on the race track wanting to start some nonsense. There is no need for that. Brad and I we have always been good before, but it’s battle time now.”