KANSAS CITY, Kan.— With 75 laps left in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch got aggressive.
Powering away from the start/finish line after a restart on Lap 192, the two Chevrolet drivers traded positions and traded paint before Busch ultimately got the upper hand. After the final restart on Lap 249, the two former champions raced hard for the runner-up position.
Busch finished second to Kevin Harvick in the fourth race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and Gordon ran third. Despite their relative success, the drivers had an animated discussion on pit road after they climbed from their cars.
“These restarts were so tough out there,” Gordon said. “Everybody is just trying to get every position they could. I got in the outside lane there one time and he (Busch) just came up, and the next lap I got to his bumper and got him loose. I guess that kind of led to him wanting to run into me on the right side on my door.
“These cars are so sensitive aerodynamic wise you just can’t have any little damage like that. It did seem to affect our car. No, I just wanted to have a good civil conversation with Kurt. We did. He did a great job, so did Kevin, and we’re really proud to finish third today.”
Busch urged reporters not to make a big issue out of what he considered hard racing.
“Restarts were treacherous today, and that’s where the No. 24 and I raced really hard today,” Busch said. “He was on the outside, hooked his nose right on our rear spoiler, and I was just sliding. He thought I was pinching him up into the wall. I’m like ‘No, you’ve got to give an inch to get an inch,’--then it just turned into a bit of rough play.
“The important thing about us finishing second and third that (it was) good racing. (We don’t) Need the media to blow it out of proportion and to say two guys are fighting.”
By Reid Spencer - NASCAR Wire Service