03/31 2014

Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch fighting mad over pit-road incident

Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch fighting mad over pit-road incident

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Brad Keselowski said he will remember what Kurt Busch did Sunday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway.

Not Busch winning the STP 500 but making contact with Keselowski on pit road less than 50 laps into the race, damaging Keselowski’s car and sending him to the garage.

Keselowski finished 31 laps down in 38th, and after Keselowski banged doors with Busch in retaliation for the Lap-41 incident, Busch told his team: “Well, I guess we get to get in a fight afterwards because I’m going to go (expletive) that dude’s (expletive) face up.”

When told after the race that Busch wanted to rearrange his face, Keselowski had a response:

“Tell him to come here,” Keselowski said. “I’m right here. He knows where I’m at. Leave victory lane. We’ll go.”

Busch and Keselowski used to be teammates at Penske Racing, where they enjoyed a good relationship. Now? Not so much.

“He does awesome things for charity, and he’s probably the most talented racecar driver,” Keselowski said. “He’s also one of the dumbest. Put those three together.”

Keselowski wasn’t the only one interested in retaliation. Busch said in his postrace news conference that Keselowski over-reacted to a pit-road incident and vowed to retaliate for attempting to ruin his day by trying to flatten his tires.

“He targeted us,” Busch said. “He was aiming for us. He tried to flatten all four of my tires. That’s a no-fly zone. That’s a punk-ass move, and he will get what he gets back when I decide to give it back.”

When told that Keselowski pretty much said the same thing, Busch responded: “That’s great.”

Keselowski appeared still angry that Busch had wrecked him last year at Kentucky Speedway.

“Same thing — he wrecked me for no reason, 50 or 30 laps early in the race just being over-aggressive,” Keselowski said. “Aggressive is good, but Lap-50 wrecking somebody? If you’re going to be aggressive, wreck yourself, don’t wreck me.

“I’ll remember that when it’s Lap 50 and he needs a break and he’ll find his ass turned around in the wall, just like he tore my car up. That (stuff) will come around.”

Keselowski said he understands mistakes happen, but a driver cannot just take getting wrecked by the same driver multiple times.

“Once or twice when it happens, you start to go, ‘Hey it happens,’” Keselowski said. “But when it happens repeatedly, you just realize the person is at fault and you’ve just got to make sure you show him you’re not going to take that.

“I’m not going to take it, and I know this 2 team is not going to take it. We had a race-winning car today and instead we finished 30-whatever with the whole front end tore off. That’s inexcusable.”

The incident Sunday happened as part of a traffic jam on pit road.

“The replays shows it — we jumbled up on pit road and he just drove right through me and ruined our day,” Keselowski said. “We probably had a race-winning car and it doesn’t matter. That’s the way it goes.”

Busch disagreed with Keselowski’s version of the incident.

“I can’t believe he over-reacted, and he’s as upset as he is,” Busch said. “The 5 car (of Kasey Kahne) was trying to pull into his box, Brad ran into the back of him, I steered right to go around Brad and he clobbered 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.”

The fact that Busch won the race didn’t seem to bother Keselowski as much as the wrecked car.

“That’s just racing,” Keselowski said. “You can’t get caught up in that stuff. It doesn’t make you happy, but it’s just racing.”