There is a new rivalry in the Cup series: Kyle Busch versus Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
During a media session on Friday, Busch was asked if Stenhouse had reached out to him following last week’s incident at Daytona. Never one to mince words, Busch said there had been no dialogue between the two.
“He did not reach out,” Busch said. “I am disappointed that he did not.”
When asked why he was disappointed, Busch replied: “He wiped out half the field. I was pretty sure it’d be a pretty busy Monday for him. There wasn’t, so apparently he just doesn’t care.”
Moments later, Busch was asked if it will change how he races Stenhouse. Busch answered: “I can’t worry about people that far back in the field.”
Several hours after Busch’s comments, Stenhouse took his turn. Between qualifying rounds, he walked over to Busch’s car while Kyle was still behind the wheel. NBC interviewed Stenhouse and asked about the exchange, wondering if Stenhouse had decided to talk about the Daytona incident after all.
“Not really a change of heart,” Stenhouse said. “I just told him why I didn’t reach out. I felt like he ran his mouth enough on his radio and then after the race, so I didn’t really have anything to say to him. I honestly feel like I normally do reach out to people when I make mistakes and I clearly made a mistake, but with him running his mouth I just felt like I didn’t really need to call him. I just let him know that. I told him, ‘You’re right. You do run a lot further up front, but pick and choose your battles wisely because you’ll have to deal with me sometimes, whether you’re lapping me or we get out cars better and you’re up there racing with us.’ I told him if he wanted to keep running his mouth, he could come over and do it around me and I’ll stop it for him.”
NBC then asked Stenhouse if, in his mind, the quarrel with Busch is over.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” he said. “But if he wants to keep running his mouth, he can come over right to me.”
The verbal barbs stem from a crash that ended Busch’s night last week at Daytona, in which Stenhouse made contact with Busch and triggered a multi-car accident. Busch was one of several drivers who took Stenhouse to task for driving too aggressive.
This could be fun.