Austin Dillon and Brad Keselowski engaged in a wild, fender-scraping show of displeasure and retaliation during a mid-race caution period Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
After the yellow flag flew on Lap 163 for Kyle Busch’s solo spin in the Ambetter 301, both Dillon and Keselowski left pit road in close quarters. Dillon’s No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet veered up to bump Keselowski’s No. 6 RFK Racing Ford on the backstretch. Keselowski paid him back with a more aggressive sideswipe that spilled onto the Turn 3 apron.
The contact forced Keselowski’s car to pit road with a flat left-front tire, but he rallied to grab a season-best seventh-place finish.
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“He was mad at me about something,” Keselowski told reporters post-race. “We very lightly got together off of (Turn) 2 during a restart. Shoot, half the field’s bouncing off each other. I didn’t even leave a mark on our cars, but I can understand why he was probably frustrated. Then, he came over and door-slammed me and cut tires down. Didn’t help any of our days. Ultimately, it probably didn’t make a difference for me. We were strong enough to recover and run seventh, but didn’t do any of our teams a favor, so moving on.”
Keselowski admitted to the rising tensions on a warm New England day. “When it’s hot in the cars, it ain’t no cooler in the helmets. We’re all probably guilty from time to time of letting our anger get to us.”
Dillon placed 23rd, one lap down. In his post-race remarks, he referenced a tangle with Keselowski last season at Michigan International Speedway, where his No. 3 Chevy was severely damaged.
“You guys saw it, right? I mean, it’s just hard racing, I guess,” Dillon told NBC Sports. “We’ve gone at it a couple times the last two years. One time, I hit really hard. Just don’t like the way certain people race me and probably not the right way to do it under caution.”
Asked if he planned to talk to Dillon to potentially mend fences, Keselowski said any discussion would take place outside of the public eye.
“We’ll figure that out outside the media … I hope,” Keselowski said.
Dillon was less optimistic: “Naw, I don’t talk to him.”