CONCORD, N.C.— Characterizing last week’s on-track fracas with Kasey Kahne at Darlington as a racing incident, Kyle Busch says he doesn’t expect Kahne to exact revenge.
That doesn’t mean Busch will be surprised if payback comes his way.
Busch and Kahne we racing hard side by side after a restart with 30 laps left in last Saturday’s Bojangles’ Southern 500. Neither driver gave ground as the cars entered Turn 1 at breakneck pace, battling for the lead. Busch’s Toyota, which was on the inside, slipped up toward Kahne’s Chevrolet.
Though there was no apparent contact between the cars, Kahne slapped the outside wall and lost his chance to win the race. Busch later cut a tire and faded to sixth at the finish.
That was the third incident of the year involving Kahne and Busch, the first two coming at Daytona and Talladega. Kahne got the short end of the stick on all three occasions.
“The first two instances were a mistake, just misjudgment,” Busch said Friday before Sprint All-Star Race practice at Charlotte. “Kasey admitted it, he had to get on the brakes in Daytona and checked up a little bit and I ran over him… (Talladega) I just misjudged. I wanted to pull out and thought last second that I was going to stay in line and push Kasey. I turned him sideways when I was coming back in line.
“Last week was just hard racing. You’re in the last (30) laps, and you’re past the last pit stop, and it’s all about track position. For us, we were racing as hard as we could. He pulled a huge slide job on me in Turn 3, and I got back to his inside, and I had been running down there on the flat all night and had been passing lapped cars down there, and some of my restarts were even that low on the race track.
“I didn’t think there was going to be a problem, and when I got down there I just got tight and pushed up a little bit. Whether or not we touched, I think that’s insignificant because I’m not racing to wreck Kasey Kahne, but Kasey Kahne did crash because of me so it’s a part of hard racing at the end of the race. I hate that it keeps being the same guy, but if it were a Matt Kenseth on a Tony Stewart we probably wouldn’t see a story.”
Busch has his fingers crossed that Kahne won’t take out his frustration on the track.
“I just told Kasey, I said, ‘Just don’t make it hurt too bad,’” Busch joked. “I don’t think Kasey is that kind of guy, but if it happens, I’ll understand.”