In a race that lasted more than five hours (mostly because of a rain-delay), tempers flared once more as the laps began to wind down.
Five-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson yelled at Kurt Busch on pit road following Sunday afternoon’s NASCAR race at Pocono Raceway, allowing Kurt Busch to know his displeasure over contact between the two drivers as they raced hard late in the 500-mile event.
It was almost quite comical watching the two drivers pointing and gesturing at one another while making their points known, but surprisingly there wasn’t any physical contact between the two.
“I’m not going to run people over to pass them,” Johnson said. “That’s just not me. I worked on him for however many laps trying to get by him clean – fair and square – and then as I got up next to him, we had an issue off of (Turn 2). I’ll just keep filing things away and remember this stuff.”
Busch on the other hand, looked at the situation much differently.
“I was racing him, flat-out,” Busch said. “You want to race? Let’s race. I didn’t know we were supposed to pull over when it came to five (laps) to go. I raced him hard, raced him smart, raced him clean and he wants to come over here and bitch about it.”
What is most surprising out of all of this, is the fact that both drivers have different takes on the term “hard racing”. Johnson said he had the opportunity to run Busch over or make contact with him for the 10 previous laps, and “never did it.” He was upset Busch didn’t treat him the same way.
Busch once again saw it much differently.
“It’s as clean as I’ve ever seen it,” Busch said. “Why can’t we race like this and put on a show for the fans and not have a problem with it? I don’t know.”
“We were racing hard,” Busch said. “I think that’s what we saw on TV and exactly that’s what should be reported. There are a lot of times when the 22 is on the short end of the stick of the 48. And I raced him hard today. I’m glad I did. I have no regrets in it.”
Needless to say, this isn’t the first time these to drivers have been at it. Just last year at Pocono, Jimmie Johnson was accused of “running straight through” the No. 2 car, which was occupied by Busch at the time.
With a history of “bad” behavior, we can only expect that history will once again repeat itself and what better way to ‘settle’ all of this madness than to race at a road course next week?