Busch league maneuver

Johnson not happy about Kurt's bump

August 10, 2011|By George Diaz

Think what you want about the Busch brothers — whether they spice up every race weekend with a feisty edge or are an embarrassment to the brand.

This much we know: They sure get everybody's attention.

After Kyle Busch gathered much of the controversy over his speeding ticket and his infamous dust-up with Kevin Harvick earlier this season, brother Kurt figured he should step up his game.

He found a worthy adversary in Jimmie Johnson at Pocono.

Jockeying for a top-five finish, the drivers traded paint in the closing laps. Johnson — who had made a clean pass at Busch — didn't appreciate Busch's side bump to win back his track position.

If you are an old-school NASCAR fan, there is nothing wrong with what Busch did. Just a little rubber 'n' racin'. On the flip side, the reason Johnson has won the Sprint Cup championship five consecutive years is that he avoids the petty shenanigans and races people clean, rarely wrecking his car in a payback move.

Can't we all just get along?

"We got into each other, or he got into me off Turn 2 and complained I was trying to not leave him room or something ridiculous," Johnson said after the race. "I spent the entire fuel run running him down. Had a few chances to play dirty and I didn't. And I finally got by him clean, fair and square, and then he drives into my door off of (Turn) 2. Frustration. It's not like I'm going to go wreck race cars. But I'm going to get out of the race car and speak my mind. We've had enough over the years and he's pretty much a smart ass who wants to run his mouth, so I have to go over there and say something."

Said Busch: "Man, it was good. It was just a great battle. We knew we had a loose race car. I was just fighting an uphill battle to hang on for that spot. (Johnson) got by us down the front straightaway. We drove into (Turn) 1 even. Coming off of 1, the car settled and I felt him swerve over into us and I'm like, 'That's over the line,' so we're coming back at him.

"That's great racing. Our fans want to see that. They want to see doors with doughnuts on it coming down to the checkered flag and both of us crossed the line third and fourth. It wasn't like somebody got wrecked. Times when he has bump-drafted me in the past, let's just push that aside. Times when he has wrecked us, let's just push that aside. Times when I've raced him clean, let's talk about that."

Bottom line: Whoever you are rooting for, it's good for business.

And stay tuned. Speaking of business, it appears to be unfinished between Busch and Johnson.

"I just keep filing things away," Johnson said. "I'll remember this stuff. There's a couple of other guys out there that have been pushing their luck."


Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.