Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway seemed to harken back to the days of yore. There was plenty of close racing, bent fenders and hurt feelings when it was all over.
There nearly a now famous ‘bump and run’ for the win.
In 1995 Dale Earnhardt Sr. used the move, common on many local short tracks, to ‘move’ Terry Labonte out of the way to win at Bristol. Sunday Kurt Busch was nearly able to use the move on his younger brother Kyle.
The two were side by side on a final restart with 14 laps to go. Kyle was able to move ahead with Kurt close behind. With 4 laps to go, Kurt tagged the wall ending his run. He still held on to finish second.
“That one was tough,” Kurt said. “I really wanted to beat him. I was going to wreck him (laughter). I was wanting to stay close enough so that when we took the white, I was just going to drive straight into (Turns) 3 and 4; I mean he’s already won. I figured he could give a little love to his brother, but no. I wanted that one bad. I feel like him right now. I’m like ugh, I’m mad because I didn’t win.”
Kurt held on for second, marking only the second time the brothers had finished 1-2, the first coming at Sonoma in 2015. And it was his best finish of the season.
“This car, we’re struggling on qualifying and we struggle on taking off,” Kurt said. “And, I just can’t get the right rear to grip until it gets heat in it. And, it’s hard to be patient when you’re running for the win on old tires. So, I’m happy that we were in position to do it, this group of guys. We’re not quite ready to win yet, but that was close.”
He also made a point of visiting his younger brother in victory lane to congratulate him.
When told about what his older brother had said about wrecking him, Kyle was able to joke.
Well, he’s got to catch me first,” he quipped. Turning serious he later said.
“I’m glad it didn’t turn out that way and he couldn’t get to me,” he said. “Because I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be in that situation.”