CONCORD, N.C. — Kyle Busch is apparently expecting retaliation from Brad Keselowski for wrecking him in the Nationwide Series race last week at Kansas.
‘‘Probably for Brad being who Brad is, I guess I should be worried because he’s stupid enough to do something,’’ Busch said on SiriusXM NASCAR on Friday. ‘‘But in all reality, to myself, I don’t know, I guess I had more respect for drivers than that.’’
Busch is in fifth place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, 35 points behind leader Matt Kenseth, heading into the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night.
Busch and Keselowski were racing side by side in the closing laps last Saturday at Kansas when Busch got into Keselowski’s left rear. The contact sent Keselowski’s car into the outside wall, and Keselowski angrily jumped out, jogged over the grass toward pit road, and gestured wildly at Busch’s crew.
He then jogged to the infield care center. Keselowski later accused Busch of being a dirty driver — ‘‘When someone wrecks you down the straightaway, that’s as dirty as it gets. I got wrecked by a dirty driver. There’s no other way of putting it’’ — and hinted he can retaliate because he’s not racing for the Sprint Cup championship.
Busch said Friday that Keselowski started this feud last year at Watkins Glen when he refused to give him an inch through the corner and ended up spinning Busch. So, Busch didn’t give Keselowski an inch at Kansas.
‘‘I probably could have gave Brad an inch at Kansas, but when you’re raced as hard as you are and you get side-drafted and doored down the front straightaway, all those things start to go out the window and you start losing respect for that person and the next time you get to them, you just don’t get care,’’ Busch said. ‘‘That’s essentially what happened. I had an opportunity, I could have lifted when I got tight, but I didn't. I just drove through the tight.’’
From a standings point of view, Busch can’t afford any on-track incidents with Keselowski. He indicated he’s not concerned about payback.
‘‘If he pays it back, he pays it back, and that will just bring on a heck of a lot more fireworks,’’ Busch said.
Keselowski read about Busch’s comments on Twitter during Friday night’s practice, and replied by pointing to Busch’s avatar and questioning ‘‘Small/stupid ogre?’’ in an apparent reference to Busch calling Ryan Newman ‘‘an ogre’’ earlier this season.
Despite the distractions, Busch won the Nationwide race at Charlotte Motor Speedway Friday night for his 11th victory on the circut this year.