News & Media

Talk of Edwards-Busch payback cools in California

March 25, 2011, David Caraviello,

FONTANA, Calif. -- In Carl Edwards' mind, he still owes Kyle Busch for a bump that knocked him out of a race at Phoenix last month. That retaliation didn't come a week ago at Bristol, where Edwards finished second behind the No. 18 car.

Does that mean delayed retaliation could be in store this week at Auto Club Speedway in Southern California? Not necessarily. Friday, any talk of payback cooled along with the cloudy Inland Empire weather.

"That deal at Phoenix cost me 28 points, at least, in my opinion. So, the least he can give up is one spot. "


"The deal is, I am just going to go race how I need to race. It is nothing personal," Edwards said. "That deal at Phoenix cost me 28 points, at least, in my opinion. So, the least he can give up is one spot. I don't know. I told him I owed him one and he asked for me to give it back to him at the All-Star Race. You never know. Maybe that is how it will go. This is racing, guys. You go to Bristol, and are on a guy's back bumper, and you have a chance and you start thinking of all the little things and all the little reasons behind everything. Really, it is fine. Hopefully him and I get to race a bunch this year, and hopefully it is good clean racing. It might get exciting, you never know."

After finishing second to Busch at Bristol, Edwards mentioned that he still owed Busch one from Phoenix, but decided to "save it up" rather than knock Busch out of the way to win on the Tennessee short track. Friday, Edwards repeated his point that even if he had wanted to take Busch out, he probably wouldn't have been able to get to him.

"It boils down to this -- I had my shot to pass him, and I couldn't because I wasn't fast enough," Edwards said. "When things got going, his car was just faster. I couldn't get back to him. If I could have got to him with one or two laps to go, then maybe I could have made something happen. I know that is what all the fans wanted to see. Trust me, nobody wanted to see it more than me. I would have loved to be in that position. As it went, I wasn't even in position to consider that."

Busch said that Edwards did get to him once, bumping the No. 18 car.

"But it wasn't like he got into the left-rear quarterpanel and tried to spin me out," Busch added. "We raced each other hard, we raced each other clean, that was good. If Carl wants to continue to say he still owes me one, whatever. I don't care. I'm racing my race, and how I should be racing, and racing all my competitors, not worrying about all that stuff. To me, we're here at California, I'm ready to move [on] and see if we can win out here."

Edwards seemed to wish he could have rephrased his comments post-Bristol. "I thought about it a little bit after I got home. I was kind of a little bit whiny after that race," he said. "I should have just got out of the car and said that it was a good race and he did a good job and that is the way it is. I was just so frustrated, because I wanted to win so bad. It is racing. It is competition. At the end of the day, he had the best car and won the race."

Kevin Harvick, who finished sixth last Sunday, said there's little to be gained by holding on to a grudge for very long. "There's a lot that rides on what you do on the race track from a results standpoint. It affects a lot of things that you do," he said. "If you carry a lot of things too far too long, sometimes it affects your team and the results that you get on the race track. That's not fair to those guys."

And for clarification: what's going on between Busch and Edwards isn't a rivalry, as defined by the participants. "I wouldn't call it a rivalry right now," Edwards said. "But it is just hard racing, and that is what it is."