NASCAR

Kyle Busch told to cool it after radio outburst

Trading Paint at Bristol Motor Speedway (©GettyImages)
Trading Paint at Bristol Motor Speedway (©GettyImages).

Every time Kyle Busch heads to Bristol Motor Speedway with plans to compete in several races over the weekend the talk begins on if he can pull off a “double” or “triple.”

In non-race fan speak that means winning more than one race over the weekend. In a weird way Kyle Busch did manage to pull off the “double” this weekend as he lost his cool during two races he competed in.

During the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Kyle’s crew chief, Dave Rogers, told his driver to “Park it behind the truck and take your whiny little ass to the bus,’’ according to a report on the website of the Motor Racing Network. The instructions to Busch from Rogers came after Busch complained about his car several times during the race. Busch had apparently tripped Rogers last nerve when he radioed in prior to being told to park his car.

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“I need a whole new right front suspension, a whole new right front suspension,’’ Busch said over the radio. “I will be behind the wall in about two (expletive) laps.”

Bad Night for No. 18 Team

Busch had been involved in a wreck earlier in the race and he also had to serve a penalty for speeding on pit row. The bad start to the race came to Busch where he is usually a force to be dealt with. It was apparent early on that the Food City 500 would be a rough night for the No. 18 team and frustration built when communication issues arose according to Rogers.

“Just a frustrating race,’’ Rogers said following the race. “Tempers flare at Bristol. The bottom line is we’ve had really fast race cars the last four or five races and we’ve just come up short. The whole team is all frustrated. Kyle was trying to communicate to me what was wrong with the car. I couldn’t hear. It just led to more frustration. We came back here to the truck and had a great talk.”

Team owner Joe Gibbs said that both parties involved had talked in the hauler after the incident and that the two were back on the same page. The incident occurred only a few days after Joe Gibbs Racing announced that driver Carl Edwards would be coming to drive a fourth car for JGR. Gibbs commented that the heated radio exchange between one of his star drivers and his crew chief was something that happens in sports.

“I think it was just one of those things where it heated up,’’ Gibbs said. “I think they handled it the right way - they went and had a good discussion. I think it was typical thing that happens in sports. Guys get heated. They had a frustrating night and had a real good car and thought they had a chance to win it. So, it all adds up. Then you have a situation like that. I’m kind of used to it. It does happen. They just talked it over.”

Upset over Race the Night Before

The conversation between Busch and his crew chief came during the Saturday night NASCAR Sprint Cup series race. There’s the possibility that Busch may have still been upset over the NASCAR Nationwide Series race that was held at Bristol on Friday night.

Busch dominated much of the race, but heading into the final minutes of racing everything changed. Ryan Blaney tangled with Kyle Larson when Blaney’s car slid high as he tried to pull a slide move to gain position. The two cars came together and Larson was sent into the wall effectively ending his night. That meant a late race restart would come with Busch and Blaney lining up side by side.

When the cars approached the starting lines Busch seemed to lay back. It was an apparent move done in hopes to lure Blaney into the trap of not getting into the gas quick enough. The only problem was that Busch stacked up the field behind him and was bumped causing him to spin his tires on the restart. Blaney jumped on the mistake and powered past Busch for the win. Busch was visibly upset about the loss and complained about the restart to reporters.

“The leader is always at the biggest disadvantage,” Busch said. "The 22 (Blaney) was five mph faster than me by the first double stripe. I didn’t go because I didn’t want to go, but everybody behind me is trying to go. It’s stupid.  One of these days I’m going to lock all four down and stack the whole field up. You’re supposed to be nose-to-nose on the restart. When the leader picks up pace, everybody else (is supposed to) pick up pace.”

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