Don’t expect Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski to be exchanging Christmas cards this year.
Busch and Keselowski both came up short of advancing to NASCAR’s Championship 4 and won’t be racing for the Cup series title. It wasn’t for lack of effort on both driver’s parts. Both Busch and Keselowski raced hard slicing through the field and both had opportunities for the win; something that both needed to advance.
Busch finished second to race winner Alex Bowman, Keselowski finished third behind Busch.
For Busch missing out on the Championship 4 is his second in a row. After the race Busch made no effort to hide his frustration.
“Oh, we ran like dog—- last week and this week. So we had a Hail Mary opportunity there at the end and we were trying to make something out of nothing,” Busch said. “Great effort. We did everything we could all day long. We never stopped working on it, but we have missed it way too much lately, so I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
The valiant effort by Busch was even more impressive given that he had to overcome a pit road speeding penalty to start the final stage. His day, and his title hopes, ended however when Bowman won, and Martin Truex Jr. finished fourth, leaving Busch three points below the cutline.
His frustration was only increased after the checkered flag when Busch ended the day with his Toyota backwards in Turn 1 after contact from Keselowski.
“He drills my ass coming out of (Turn) 4 for no reason,” Busch said. “Where was he going? What was he going to do — spin me out? He was trying to do a Harvick is what he was trying to do. For what? Second place? To do what? He wasn’t going to transfer through with that. … So stupid. I don’t understand these guys. I should beat the shit out of him right now is what I should do, but that doesn’t do me any good either.”
For Keselowski missing out on a title means he won’t be rewarding his boss Roger Penske a second Cup title. Keselowski is moving to Roush Fenway Racing and will become part owner of that team as well as driver.
“We gave it all we had,” he said. “We just needed to be a little bit faster in stage two to get us a handful of points and be closer, and then at the end I was just too loose. I just couldn’t quite get it perfectly tweaked in, but all in all, a pretty good run.”
As for the post-race contact with Busch:
“I don’t know what he was thinking,” Keselowski said. “I don’t know if he’s mad at himself, mad at me. I don’t sweat that.”
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