Stewart Says All Is Cool Between Him and Busch
By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
Joliet, Ill. – Kyle Busch’s body language said it all. And what it said was “unhappy”.
He had just wrecked, hit the wall, got hit from behind at 180 mph, hit again in the side of his car at maybe 100 and when his car came to a rest on the Daytona International Speedway track and he emerged, Busch was clearly looking for somebody to take it all out upon.
Tony Stewart would be a good good guess for the target in mind.
It was Stewart, after all, who was involved in the initial contact in the incident, which occurred on the final lap of the Coke Zero 400 last Saturday night.
Busch, who was leading at the time and only a couple hundred yards from the checkered flag, was headed off by track workers and herded to the infield care center before he could get to Stewart.
Apparently the DIS care center does not dispense tranquilizers. When Busch emerged, he split without comment.
Wednesday afternoon, Stewart was on a teleconference and was asked if he and Busch had hooked up since Daytona and if so, what happened?
The answer was yes and that peace has broken out between the one-time Sprint cup bad boy and the current baddest boy.
“I got a chance before I went to Sharon Speedway last night, I got a chance to (phone) and catch up with Kyle,” Stewart said. “I checked first of all just to make sure he was all right.”
All is fine physically with Busch, Stewart said.
That is essential information as the two will be back on the same track and at similar speeds Thursday when practice gets under ways for Saturday night’s Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway.
“When something like that happens, you want to make sure that both guys are on the same page with what happened, and we definitely were,” Stewart said. “I mean, there was no question on either one of our parts of what happened. I mean, we were instantly on the same page with it. It’s just part of racing.
“But it was something that happened before that phone call even happened, and I’ve mentioned it to Kyle and even kind of laughed about it was the fact that everybody has made such a big deal about this all of a sudden happening. A good friend of mine reminded me of the very first TV race, the very first (Daytona) 500 that they showed on national TV, and it was Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough, same type of incident on the backstretch for the win.
“What happened this weekend, what happened at Talladega, none of this is new, and I think it’s our responsibility to educate everybody that, hey, this isn’t something that this is the first time this has happened. This is something that’s been going on for a long time.”
Stewart also invoked the memory of another famous ruckus at Daytona, one which involved two of the biggest stars the sport has produced.
“There’s little differences here and there about how the accident happened, but David Pearson and Richard Petty coming off of Turn 4 and both of their cars crashed and who could get it started and get it limped across the start/finish line to win,” Stewart said.
“There’s just so many instances and cases where that’s happened in the past, too. It’s really no different than what we’ve got going on other than the fact that instead of two cars being involved, now we have 32 cars in the pack. That’s the only variable that’s changed. It’s a product of superspeedway racing.
“Kyle knew that my job was to get to his quarter panel, he was trying to move up to defend his spot, and nobody in his position would have just stayed there and let somebody drive back by him. You’ve got to do something, and he wasn’t trying to wreck us, he was just trying to make me make a move to slow me down.”
Stewart also got a chance to see another participant in last Saturday’s wreck at the checkers. Kasey Kahne was the one who slammed into Busch from the rear.
That wreck picked the rear end of Busch’s car clear off the ground. Busch’s rear wheels came to rest on Kahne’s windshield.
“I got a chance to see Kasey (Kahne) last night and make sure he wasn’t hurt, as well. It was good to touch base and make sure we were all on the same page, which we were,” Stewart said.
For now, at least.
– Jim Pedley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments