HAMPTON, Ga. – Clean racing has historically been regarded as a sign of respect, something Kyle Busch openly stated that NASCAR Cup Series garage has “completely lost” during his media availability Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Busch aired his comments in response to questions about the latest on-track developments between Ross Chastain and Denny Hamlin, resulting in a tangle in the closing laps last weekend at Phoenix Raceway. NASCAR officials confirmed that Hamlin’s post-race comments on his weekly podcast, where he openly admitted his actions were intentional, contributed to his eventual penalty for the incident.
“We have completely lost any sense of respect in the garage area between drivers,” Busch said. “That’s where the problem lies. Nobody gives two [expletives] about anybody else and it’s just a problem where everybody takes advantage of everybody as much as they can.”
Busch’s frustration wasn’t exclusive to his former longtime Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, but the current culture in the premier-series garage as a whole. And he openly acknowledged that it wasn’t always this way.
“We’re all selfish, granted,” Busch admitted. “But there was an etiquette that did live here. Mark (Martin) started it, Tony (Stewart) really lived by it, I think Jeff (Gordon) lived by it. … So, I mean, it did exist.”
Still one of the veteran leaders in the garage, Busch states that his effort in instilling the value has fallen on deaf ears – so much so to the point where he doesn’t even try to correct it anymore.
“I’ve tried to talk to guys,” Busch said. “They don’t listen. So, I’ve lost interest in talking to them.”
As far as his solution and potential repercussions, Busch was straight to the point: “When you intentionally drive over somebody because they made a move on you or something that you didn’t like, then, you know, you’re gonna get punched in the face afterwards.”