An incident with Brad Keselowski set Kyle Busch off during the Cup Series race Sunday at Watkins Glen International.
The contentious rivalry between Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski added another chapter with the two drivers having a collision during Sunday’s Monster Energy Cup Series race at Watkins Glen international that had Busch fuming afterward.
The latest flashpoint occurred on Lap 45 of 90 when Busch attempted to pass Keselowski entering the inner loop on the 2.45-mile road course. But by the time Keselowski knew Busch was to his inside, it was too late as the two made contact that sent both spinning off course.
Both drivers were able to continue, though each needed to pit for fresh tires. And on his way to the pits, Busch made it obvious who he felt was culpable for causing the incident.
“You all better keep me away from that (expletive) after this race,” Busch radioed to his team. “I will kill that (expletive).”
Busch had the dominant car Sunday, leading 21 laps before an extra pit stop due to a loose wheel dropped him to the back. At the time he and Keselowski collided, Busch was quickly moving toward the front and had made his way up to eighth.
Keselowski had a different interpretation of what transpired.
“I was going into the corner and I had (AJ Allmendinger) behind me and when I got into the corner (Busch) was next to me,” Keselowski told reporters following the race. “My spotter called it but we were already in the corner. It was too much for me to avoid. We got into each other and that hurt everybody.”
Keselowski said he would have to see a replay to see if there was anything he could’ve done differently, but maintained the contact was incidental and that he didn’t deliberately turn into Busch’s No. 18 car.
“Nobody is happy when you have contact,” Keselowski said. “It didn’t help my day at all either, I can tell you that. I wasn’t looking to get into him and I don’t think he was looking to get into me. He probably had the dominant car. He didn’t need any trouble. Neither did I.”
Afterward Busch did not confront Keselowski, who he’s had a long rivalry with. The two have had several on-track run-ins over the years and Busch has said publicly he thinks Keselowski is a dirty driver.
Sunday marked the third time Busch and Keselowski have been involved in a notable clash at Watkins Glen, one of two road courses on the Cup schedule. In 2012, Keselowski spun Busch out of the lead as they were racing for the win on the last lap. The next year the two again had a memorable tussle with last-lap for the win with Busch ultimately prevailing.
“This is a track where you fight for inches and we both are probably not willing to give in on it,” Keselowski said when asked about his history with Busch at Watkins Glen.”
And don’t expect the drivers to mend their differences anytime soon.
“I don’t think he is really the listening type,” Keselowski said. “So that is pretty doubtful.”