In the mind of Kyle Busch, there was a lot that led up to the altercation with Joey Logano
In March 2017, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano get into an altercation on the pit lane at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It ended with multiple crews jumping into the scene. Kyle Busch was escorted away with blood running off his forehead.
The altercation started on the race track. In the final lap, Kyle Busch and Logano were racing for position. As they came up on Keselowski entering turn three, Logano was attempting to pinch Busch in behind him.
Busch didn’t let him do that. Instead, Busch turned accross the fender of Logano and made room inbetween Logano and Keselowski’s car and went three wide into turn three.
Logano then drove up the banking and turned Kyle Busch. Without a word, Kyle Busch climbed from his car and marched down the pit lane. As he got to Logano, he just started swinging.
Following the altercation, NASCAR elected not to take action. Neither driver or team were handed any penalties.
“The emotions of our athletes run high, and Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are two of the most passionate and competitive drivers in the sport. Both competitors are very clear on our expectations going forward and we will be meeting with them in person prior to practice on Friday in Phoenix,” Steve O’Donnell explained.
But, there was a lot more that led up to the situation from Kyle Busch’s perspective…
Kyle Busch recalls the punch to Joey Logano
“Well, there’s always been a rivalry of sorts between Team Penske and Joe Gibbs Racing, and much of that has stemmed from Brad (Keselowski) and myself never liking each other or getting along,” Busch stated during 12 Questions with Jeff Gluck.
“Joey and I have always had a pretty decent relationship, and I was one of his biggest supporters at JGR. I was one of the guys talking to Joe (Gibbs) and saying, ‘Man, I don’t think he needs to be let go. I think we should keep him. I think we need to keep him a little longer.’ “
“We were always cordial. I wouldn’t call us friends, but I was better teammates with Joey than I probably was with Denny at that time.”
“But then he goes over to Penske and gets Brad in his head and starts to become this cocky Brad No. 2. I’m like, ‘Man, I can’t tolerate that.’ For one, you can’t be this happy-go-lucky, laugh-all-the-time, ha-ha whatever to everyone’s face and then on the racetrack put this different act on. Like who you are is who you are; you can’t be two-faced. I hate two-faced.”
“So he started doing a little bit of that and it started bugging me and driving me the wrong way. There were some other instances where he and I were kind of rough on the track. We weren’t really disrespectful, but it was starting to get to that point where it was like, ‘All right man, that probably went a little too far.’ “
Recalling the on-track incident
“It was four to go or three to go and Brad, lo and behold, was losing a motor or dropped a cylinder or something in the last few laps. Joey and I were going to be racing for third, essentially. There was a moment down the backstretch where Joey and I were side-by-side and we were catching Brad.”
“I was just a little bit enough ahead of Joey where I turned down so I didn’t get stuck behind Brad to where Joey would use Brad as a pick to keep the position on me. I was better than Joey; I had caught him from a straightaway back. So I turned down on him a little bit and just barely touched him to make a hole, got the hole and turned into (Turn) 3.”
“Then he just flat-out drives off in there. And I knew he wrecked me. Like I knew — I knew — he drove into me and flat-out wiped me out. On purpose.”
“So all of that (past) stuff and then that right there? It was like, ‘OK, you’re done. That’s it.’ I’ve been in trouble enough times over the years (because) after the race is over, you go and beat each other’s car up and all that stuff. I was like, ‘Well, I’m not going to do that. Fine, I’ll do something else this time. Watch this.’ “
“So I just marched my happy ass down there and whacked him across the head.”