Kyle Busch talks about the fierce racing with Kyle Larson
Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson have run into each other a few times: They’re ok with it
Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson put one one hell of a finish at Chicagoland Speedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. Bumper exchanges sent the NASCAR crowd to their feet at a 1.5-mile speedway.
Kyle Busch was held up by lap cars. That allowed Kyle Larson to get within striking distance on the final lap. Larson drove off deep into turn 1. He tried to clear Kyle Busch off turn 2. He didn’t. But, he cleared himself anyway which stuffed Busch into the outside wall.
Kyle Busch ran him down heading into turn 3. This time it was his turn to send it deep on corner entry. Busch tagged the rear bumper of Larson and sent him sideways up the hill.
Busch drove by on the bottom as Larson sent up a smoke cloud. Kyle Busch won the race back to the line.
“I thought he was going to pull a side job. When he didn’t do a slider, I wasn’t sure what he next move was gonna be,” Kyle Busch says of the final lap at Chicagoland Speedway.
“I was like, ‘Surely, he’s not going to drive in the side of me.’ Then, he did.”
“From that point, all bets are off. It’s wide open here on out, back to the checkered flag.”
“He got a run on me off of turn 2 after I got in the fence. It just stalled and killed my momentum. Then his side draft was able to propel him by me. I tried to retaliate with a side draft, I wasn’t really close enough and wasn’t really getting anywhere with it. So, he got by me.”
“Getting into turn 3, it was just about following him in there and seeing if I could cut left under him. He didn’t slide up. So, I drove off in there as far as I could and I got into the back of him.”
“Once I did that, he was just kinda sliding loose. It was just about trying to get back to the start finish line after that. It was kinda a product of once it’s done to you, then it’s fair game and it’s on I guess.”
“That’s kinda what transpired.”
It goes both ways
Both drivers were aggressive with each other. Needless to say, they both understand it. Nobody’s mad, it was a fantastic finish that will be replayed on the highlight reels for years to come.
“When I was going down the backstretch, I was like, ‘Hell no. You’re not taking this one away right now.’ I was going to do anything it took for us to get back to the start finish line first.”
“Was it an aggressive move? Absolutely. Was Larson’s an aggressive move? Could he have rolled out of the throttle a tic sooner and not hit me into the wall off two? Absolutely.”
“It goes both ways sometimes. I’m sure one of these days it will come back on me somehow.”
Busch and Larson: History
This isn’t the first time that Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch traded bumpers for the win. In the Bristol spring race, Kyle Busch put the bumper to Kyle Larson in the closing laps. Busch ended up driving off to the win that day.
“We’ve always raced each other super hard and super clean. We’ve never had issues. We’ve been back and fourth with each other at Bristol, multiple times.”
“Today, maybe that was kinda what he thought he had on me in turn 2. If he would have raced me clean, we would have just raced through 3-4 and just saw who could’ve got back to the start finish line first.”
“But, once contact’s made in a race it’s every man for himself … When you’re the guy that gets roughed up first, it’s fair game.”
“It was a good day and a great finish. It was an exciting one for that. Especially, at a mile and a half. People don’t necessarily see those much anymore. You just gotta be pumped for that, it’s cool.”
After the race
Following the contact at Chicagoland, Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch talked it out. They fully understood where each driver was coming for. Kyle Busch explained that post-race discussion as follows:
“I thought it was fine. I thought Larson did the right thing. He came over and wanted to say something about it.”
KB: “Man I thought you were going to slide me. I was all ready for that.”
KL: “No, I didn’t have enough room. By the time you got back to my outside, I had no other choice. I had to stall you out. So, I hit ya.”
KB: “Well, you knew it was fair game after that right?”
KL: “Oh yeah, I knew.”
KB: “Alright. As long as you understood that we’re good.”
KL: “No, it’s totally on me for initiating it.”
“It was all good. So, I do appreciate him coming over and saying something about it and being receptive to what all went down.”
“If I was in his shoes, I don’t know what I would have done differently. I guess I just would have tried to pull the slider and made that guy think of me.”
“It can go so many different ways. That was probably the first slide job that I was ready for that he didn’t pull.”