War of words: Kurt Busch rips what he says was ‘punk-a** move’
Kurt Busch’s victory in Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway was an emotional, feel-good triumph, as it marked his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory since October 2011.
But given that it was at Martinsville, a track where emotions run high, it also was a place where Busch and his former Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski engaged in both a war of beating and banging on the track and a war of words off it.
On Lap 43, there was a collision on pit road involving Busch, Keselowski and Kasey Kahne. Whose fault was it? Like most short-track dustups, the good guy(s) or the bad guy(s) in this one depended on whom you asked — especially since it later escalated when, after more than 30 laps in the garage, Keselowski came back on the track and started banging his car into the side of Busch’s.
He tried to flatten all four of my tires. That’s a no-fly zone. That’s a punk-a** move and he will get what he gets back when I decide to give it back.
Kurt Busch, talking about Brad Keselowski
Busch at one point thought that Keselowski had damaged his car so much that he told his crew over the team radio: "We’re done."
Afterward, neither side was happy about what transpired.
"I can’t believe he overreacted and he’s as upset as he is," Busch said of Keselowski. "The 5 car (Kanhe) was trying to pull into his (pit) box, Brad ran into the back of him, I steered right to go around Brad and then he clobbers our left-side door, and it’s like, OK, accidents happen on pit road. It’s congested. It’s not a place to race, because of all the pit crew guys down there and I didn’t think much of it."
That all changed when Keselowski started banging on Busch’s car under green.
He does awesome things for charity and he’s probably the most talented race car driver, but he’s also one of the dumbest.
Brad Keselowski, talking about race winner Kurt Busch
"Once we were back out running, he targeted us, he was aiming for us," Busch said. "He tried to flatten all four of my tires. That’s a no-fly zone. That’s a punk-a** move and he will get what he gets back when I decide to give it back."
Naturally, Keselowski didn’t see it quite the same way.
"Aggressive is good, but lap-50 wrecking somebody, if you’re gonna be aggressive, wreck yourself, don’t wreck me," Keselowski said. "I’ll remember that when it’s Lap 50 and he needs a break and he’ll find his a** turned around in the wall just like he tore my car up. That stuff will come around."
Keselowski said it wasn’t the first problem he’s had with Busch.
"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," Keselowski said. "I know this 2 team is not gonna take it. We had a race-winning car today, instead we finished 30-whatever with the whole front end tore off of it. That’s inexcusable and I’m not gonna put up with that."
Busch and Keselowski, of course, were teammates at Penske Racing (now renamed Team Penske) in 2011, but it’s clear there is no love lost between the two anymore.
"He (Busch) 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," Keselowski said.