Posted by Pete Pistone
Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick met with the media Friday to discuss last week's altercation at Darlington and the two driver's relationship with each other. Busch did not mince any words in his dislike for Harvick (Click here for Harvick's side of the story):
Do you feel like you have a clear understanding of the NASCAR rules?
“I do. I understand it perfectly actually. It’s the ‘boys have at it,’ that happens out on the race track and it seems like they allow us to police ourselves pretty simply out there. When matters get taken into the drivers hands or anything else onto pit road, where innocent bystanders can be injured or something , NASCAR is going to step in and they’re going to intervene and they’re going to set penalties the way that they feel need to be levied. To me, it’s not a gray area, it’s pretty simple, it’s black and white. I’m not focused in all that really or what penalties should be during what circumstances because I’m a racer and I know that going out there on the race track and trying to win is the utmost thing. If you do that, then you certainly shouldn’t be getting in any brawls or anything like that.”
Where was your team following the incident at Darlington?
“To be honest with you, I don’t know if they were aware of the antics. I had already unplugged my radio, so I don’t know what was going on over the radio, but we were pitted down in pit stall three or four or something like that last week. I do know that it was an awfully long way to haul, if you ask me. As I did turn in to the garage area after what happened down on the end of pit road, I did see some guys coming from that way. They were behind the pit wall, they weren’t out on pit road. When I turned into the garage area, some of them were turning in with me and following the car. When I got back to the truck, there were about four or five at the truck. They were where they were supposed to be, I will say that.”
Do you think hitting Kevin Harvick in the quarter panel during the race meant you were ‘throwing the gloves down?’
“Apparently he’s watching too much hockey. That’s what you do in your own time during the week I guess. To me, I did have a left rear tire flat and I wasn’t sure that if I turned too hard to the right to stay off of him or to get away from him that the car would actually spin out the wrong way -- my car would. Believe that for what it’s worth. I believe there’s some in car cameras you can see and I did have to come to pit road during that caution period to change left side tires because they were flat.”
Why do you and Kevin Harvick not get along?
“As far as us getting along, I’m not sure that we ever really did. I think he (Kevin Harvick) tried and that’s why at Homestead I kind of talked about the two faces of Kevin Harvick. I still believe that’s out there. He’ll talk to you to your face like your best friends, but then behind closed doors or him at home or whatever, he has the utmost disrespectful thoughts or whatever else. That’s all -- I don’t care. I’m going on with my own business.”
Is there anything you want to clarify about your actions last week?
“No, I don’t feel like I’m lying about anything because there’s video cameras and what is it, 85 video cameras around the race track that will pretty much simplify or backup anything that you’re saying. Not lying about anything. The only thing I will say I guess is that I’m sorry I came off of turn two on the flat trying to give Kevin (Harvick) room and maybe I slid a little too far and I got into him first. Maybe that’s what initiated everything. I apologize about that. It wasn’t my intentions to get into him and then have everything go down the way it went down. I was just trying to race the final five laps as hard as I could, as clean as I could to get the best finish we could. We shouldn’t have been back in that situation anyways, but we did have pit road -- a loose wheel and problems on pit road that we had to rebound from and come back from.”
Do you need to do anything different to take care of yourself?
“I think it’s in my sponsors best interest and in my team owner’s best interest that we are not fighters and that we’re respectful competitors and we’re out here to do our job on the race track and race as best as we can, as hard as we can and as clean as we can. Sometimes as clean as you can, you might rub fenders with somebody or something like that. When it becomes from getting disrespected as bad as you have from one particular guy, at some point you finally say you’ve had enough and I feel like I did stick up for myself on the race track. Apparently there was more than on the race track afterwards.”
Do you not want there to be rules on the race track?
“The rules part -- there doesn’t need to be any clarification as far as the rules go. The on the race track stuff, I don’t know that it really means much difference when somebody spins you out from behind on the straightaway at Homestead going 170 mph into the inside wall and ended up in a ball of flames -- that’s any different from spinning somebody out down the frontstretch at Darlington at 170 mph. I don’t see any difference there. I think it was just two ways maybe of going at it. It’s just the way the cards were dealt at that particular moment.”
Do you like Kevin Harvick?
“I don’t know. I’ve never gotten along with the guy. I don’t know that he (Kevin Harvick) really ever got along with my brother either. I think there’s something beyond from his past growing’s up maybe and racing with Kurt (Busch) that I don’t know and I was just kind of thrown in that I was never really liked. I don’t know.”
|More NASCAR coverage|