Busch, Keselowski put feud in rearview mirror
November 06, 2013, Pat DeCola, NASCAR.com
Busch's crew chief believes drivers have moved past retaliation talk
FORT WORTH, Texas — Well, that settles that.
Less than a month ago, Kyle Busch was calling reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski "stupid enough" to retaliate on SiriusXM's NASCAR channel after the two tangled in a NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Kansas. Busch is running for a Cup championship and Keselowski is not in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field.
According to Busch's crew chief Dave Rogers, any potential retaliation talk can be put to bed after the pair worked together to remove debris from the grille of Busch's No. 18 Toyota in Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. (Watch video here)
"That was a good deal there," Rogers said at the 18 hauler after the Texas race. "I hear all this talk about retaliation and all this business. These guys are professionals. They're human. They get frustrated. But they're professional racers. I hope (we can put that to rest); I just want to race. The 2 car, they're a bunch of good guys."
The two drivers aren't short on history with each other.
On his path to the title last season, Keselowski tapped and spun Busch right after he took the white flag at Watkins Glen to battle with Marcos Ambrose for the win. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver would finish three points behind Jeff Gordon after the regular-season finale at Richmond, putting Gordon in the Chase and nudging Busch out.
The pieces were there for Busch to get his payback in the following 10 races, but he declined.
"Last year the talk was about was the 18 going to retaliate against the 2. ... I think today (at Texas), Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch proved that they're professionals," Rogers said. "Brad cut us some slack and let us take that debris off our grille and it's very much appreciated.
"I think (crew chief) Paul Wolfe is a class act. I think he's one of the best crew chiefs on pit road and I think he's a real class act. He's a good friend of mine. He doesn't want his team rivaling mine and I don't want mine rivaling his. We want to race hard on the race track and we want to put on a good show for our fans, but we want the rivalry to be clean, hard racing and I think both of our drivers can do that."
UPDATE: When asked Monday night who his biggest rival is these days, the generally outspoken Keselowski offered a diplomatic response.
The car in front of me.— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) November 5, 2013