Heading into Chicago, it appeared as if that the smoke had cleared between former Joe Gibbs racing teammates Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart regarding the last-lap crash that sent Stewart to Victory Lane and Busch into the wall during the Daytona Coke Zero 400.
Stewart said that he had spoken with Busch via telephone regarding the incident and said the two shared, what he thought to be, “an amicable 30-minute conversation.”
Thursday’s press conference at Chicagoland suggested otherwise. Busch seems to be holding a slow burning grudge, alleging that Stewart had “dumped” him and that NASCAR should implement a rule to prevent such actions.
"NASCAR can take a step in looking at it and if the second place driver dumps—quote unquote—the leader, then black flag his ass," Busch said.
"He doesn't get the win, you know. If he's on him from behind and moves him out of the way and there's no wreck then fine he can win the race but if you're up along-side the guy and you dump him then I say black flag him and give the win the third-place driver."
When asked if he and Stewart had favorably cleared the air regarding last weekend’s accident, Busch’s response was nothing short of disingenuous.
"I really don't have feelings, so it really doesn't mean a whole lot. I thank him for I guess checking on me to see if I was alive."
Busch took the proverbial olive branch that Stewart had extended to him and threw it back in his face by straight up placing all the blame on Stewart for the last-lap scrimmage.
Stewart continued to take the high road. After he was informed of Busch’s comments, he affirmed that he is "sticking to the exchange that the two shared on Tuesday."
"Kyle and I talked this week and had a very good conversation on the phone," Stewart said. "I was very pleased."
Busch took the lead from Stewart upon entering the final lap of the race, but Stewart forged ahead, pushing the nose of his car past Busch’s right rear quarter panel.
Based on Busch's response to the press it makes me wonder if Busch saw a completely different race replay than the rest of us?
Stewart did what he had to do to take the lead back. It was nothing that we have not seen before from virtually every other contender on the track.
Every driver out there knows that you can’t block the car behind you if it is already next to you on the track! Why should we suddenly be changing the rules to benefit Kyle Busch?
Busch could learn a lesson in humility and grace from Carl Edwards.
Who can forget Edwards' banzai slide-job during the final lap in Kansas last October? Edwards took a desperate suicide dive in front of Johnson for the lead then ricocheted back up the track into the wall.
That gutsy move gained much respect from his fellow drivers, including Kyle Busch. “It was cool to see and something somebody was trying so more power to him."
Edwards graciously accepted the shortcomings of his efforts and moved on. Granted Edwards did not take out the leader in the process, but that was luck infused timing.
During the final lap the lead drivers are focused on how they are going to make it to the line first and will do whatever it takes to get the win.
When asked about the incident from the Coke Zero 400, other drivers spoke out in Stewart’s defense.
"That's a long way from a dump in my mind." "They both were battling for the win. I certainly would not say he got dumped," said Kasey Kahne. "Tony made a great move to get to Kyle's outside. To me it looked like [Stewart] was going to side draft off him to the line, but Kyle turned right.''
"I would put more blame on the guy leading who was blocking than the guy who was behind," Jeff Gordon said. "It's not getting dumped if the guy got a fender inside you and you turn. You've got spotters. If someone is half an inch inside you, you expect to know it because of your spotters."
Stewart is ready to leave the past behind stating, "Daytona was last week."
Busch has proven time and time again,if things don’t go his way, in a expressive show of immaturity he takes his ball and stomps off the playground, only to bring it back the following week to ignorantly chunk back into the face of the winner.
"If I'm ever second, I normally finish second," Busch said. "Whenever I'm leading, I guess I get wrecked. It seems to me I don't know how to win restrictor-plate races, so you can't ask me that question."
Unapologetic Busch fans don’t have to make excuses for their driver like we in "Junior Nation" do, because Busch does it for them!
Busch may have been born to be wild, but should really learn to take the world in a love embrace.
It's OK to be wrong, heck even I am every once in a while. It is the art of admitting it that is the real challenge.
Eating a little crow now and again never hurt anyone, in fact it can be down right delicious!
Hey, pass the salt!
Author's Note: I know the title may look mispelled, but I assure you it isn't.
Many people, unfamiliar with the "reward or punishment" meaning of the word "desert," mistakenly assume that the phrase "just deserts" is properly spelled "just desserts" because of its pronunciation. (The usual reasoning is that a dessert is a type of reward, one is given at the end of a meal, so someone who receives suitable rewards or punishments for his actions has gotten his "just desserts.")
When one gets what one deserves, good or bad, one is getting one's "just deserts," accent on the second syllable but spelled like the arid, barren lands.