This is a new piece of the former NASCAR rivalry
As Kyle Busch entered the sport, DEI and Hendrick Hendrick were pursing a contract with Kyle Busch. Busch ended up signing with Hendrick Motorsports.
Yet, at the start of the 2008 season, Kyle Busch moved to Joe Gibbs Racing as Dale Jr left DEI and moved to Hendrick Motorsports.
Tensions were high between the two drivers. Media questions to both drivers, about the other, further intensified that feud. It was NASCAR’s most popular driver versus NASCAR’s most disliked driver.
At Richmond Raceway in 2008, Kyle Busch got loose under Dale Jr while racing for the lead. Dale Earnhardt Jr backed it into the fence and was out of the race as the crowd erupted with anger.
After the race, Dale Earnhardt Jr’s crew members walked down to have a talk with Kyle Busch. No punches were thrown but the tensions were higher than they’ve ever been.
As Kyle Busch said, “In this moment, there was no shits given.”
However, Kyle Busch then had to deal with JR Nation. He hired an FBI guy to follow him around the tracks, for safety.
The roles reversed soon enough. When NASCAR returned to Richmond, Dale Jr found himself next to Kyle Busch once again. This time, he turned Busch. The incident appeared to be an accident, though years later, Dale Jr admitted to Kyle himself, that it was retaliation.
The two drivers never sat down to talk about it while they were both on the track. The drivers only recently sat down to talk about it and hash out the memories.
However, these’s a new piece to this former feud that the fans missed…
Phoenix: Flipping the bird
“This is Phoenix around 2014, things aren’t going well for me. I’m having a down year. A pretty frustrating year,” Dale Earnhardt Jr stated via the Bussin’ With The Boys podcast.
“It’s practice, I’m going down the back straight-away and slowing down to come to the pits. I get to the apron, Kyle’s behind me and he’s coming by.”
“I guess I was too close to the race track. He didn’t like where I was at, it was bothering him and his focus. He didn’t like something about what I did so he flipped me the bird out the window in front of the net.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr walks in Kyle Busch’s hauler
“It just sent me over the edge. I’m going to go to my hauler, then I see his hauler. I’m like, ‘I’m going in there.’ If he’s in there, I’m going to confront him about it.”
“I walked up into his hauler. At the very front of the trailer, there’s a lounge. In the lounge is Kyle and his crew chief.”
“I said, ‘Kyle, if you ever flip me off again I’m gonna rip your head off. I’m going to kill you, beat the hell out of you.’ I said everything I could just say, in that moment.”
Out of character
Earnhardt explained, “I never do that. That’s out of character for me.”
“But, it was to a point where I needed to tell this guy to knock it off. The words in the media, the bird, the disrespect, has got to come to an end. You’re not going to disrespect me, you’re not going to look at me the way you’re looking at me and perceive me the way you’re perceiving me. You’re going to respect me when we’re here together at the race track.”
Kyle Busch didn’t say a word after the words in the hauler.
“I said what I had to say, turned around and walked out. I didn’t want him to respond to me and his crew chief didn’t move. It was what I wanted it to be.”
“I didn’t want anything to happen where it would have gotten physical. It probably would have easily gotten that way. It’s good that nothing happened.”
“I was glad to do it, I think it changed our relationship. Years later, he texted me, ‘You own a team, I own a team, I want to compare some things that y’all are doing.’ Then, I had him on my podcast and we talked about Richmond.”