Yes Kyle, We Did See What Happened

Photo Credit: Noel Lanier/OnPitRoad.com

Watkins Glen International Raceway has garnered a reputation as one of the most exciting road courses on the NASCAR schedule, and this past weekend’s Go Bowling at the Glen did not disappoint. While Chase Elliott was riding off into the sunset, in route to his second consecutive Glen win, the tempers were flaring behind him.

Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Blaney made headlines for an on-track altercation and the subsequent confrontation (albeit a mild confrontation) after the race.

But, the more notable altercation took place between Kyle Busch and William Byron. Or was it Kyle Busch and Bubba Wallace? The polarizing Las Vegas native planted himself squarely in the middle of several fender bashing incidents. First with Byron, then much latter with Wallace. Both incidents found Busch turned around and pointing in the wrong direction.

When asked about the rough day by the media after the race, Busch’s only response was “you saw what happened,” before walking away. I can understand his desire to not want to dwell on the situation and rehash it to scores of media. Perhaps a tight-lipped approach was the better part of discretion. But the implication levied by the one-line comment is what has many scratching their heads.

Make no mistake Kyle, we did see what happened.

We saw when you spun while on the inside of Byron, because you chomped too big of a bite of the rumble strips.

We saw when you punted Byron at the Bus Stop several laps later.

We even saw it when you brake checked Byron under caution, causing significant damage to the nose and hood of the #24 Chevrolet, prompting crew chief Chad Knaus to instruct young William, “if I see the 18 come back here without you knocking the [expletive] out of him, we’re gonna have a problem.”

Busch’s troubles got even worse when he ran afoul of Bubba Wallace. Now, in all fairness to Busch, to the best of my knowledge, no video evidence exists of the initial incident, but there is plenty of video of what transpired on lap 61. Upon the exit of turn seven, and down the entire length of the front stretch, Wallace and Busch traded paint, knocking the doors off one another until ultimately Wallace got the upper hand into turn one, by booting Busch out of the way and sending him spinning.

When asked about it afterwards, Wallace went on a profanity laced tirade against Busch. He stated that Busch had been the reason Wallace was sent careening into the tire barrier earlier in the race, and that what transpired on lap 61 was simply him standing up for himself. “I’m going to get respect on the track, and I don’t care who it is,” Wallace told media members. “That’s what happens when you get run over, you just pay him back.”

Busch is no stranger to controversy, in fact, he seems to thrive on it. He even seems to relish in it. He has never been one to shy away from paying someone back for their on-track actions, he even got suspended for it in 2011 at Texas Motor Speedway. But, now that he is on the receiving end of what some consider payback, he implies that it wasn’t his fault (that’s what I, along with many other media members infer from the line “you saw what happened”). To that note, it’s worth pointing out that what video evidence there is, points to the exact opposite.

So yes Kyle….we DID see what happened.

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9 Comments

  1. I don’t see where he “implied” anything. He simply said you saw what happened and left it to your own devices. He knows that whatever he says will be parsed by certain members of the media into what they “think” he said. He kept it short and to the point so it wouldn’t be difficult.

  2. AS usual – Kyle bad everyone else good,
    As usual Any driver may do Anything to Kyle and they will be rewarded.
    On both Byron and Bubba:
    Kyle launched both of these guys into the upper levels of NASCAR through his truck team KBM, and has advanced more drivers than any other active driver in NASCAR today – by a long shot – furthermore almost all (except Bubba) are among the better young drivers.
    re. Bubba:
    1. This is really the worst. There was nothing sportsmanlike about it – not remotely “rubbing is racing”. What Bubba did was way overboard and had it been Kyle – he would be suspended. First, Bubba is not a good driver, has far less impulse control than even Kyle and a record of violence (the worst being punching out a driver over twice his age in the middle of the track during practice).
    2. There is no evidence or video of the purported “slight” Kyle committed before their incident. Bubba was actually leading Kyle on the outside of the turn before their “incident” and neither car had visible damage, so I find it even harder to buy an earlier “crime” by Kyle. If so lets see it.
    3. Kyle was passing Bubba clean (no contact) on the inside and like a spoiled child Bubba throws a violent body slam to keep Kyle from passing him clean on the inside. Once they started trading paint, Kyle won and cleared him clean. Like a bully that picked a fight and loses gets up to stab the victor in the back, Bubba deliberately rammed kyle in the back and spun him out.
    On Byron:
    1. I didn’t see any contact when Kyle spun inside of Byron and find it easy to conclude Kyle over played the turn. On the other hand Jimmie had no contact with Blaney yet cried about Blaney forced him out and to this everyone still says Jimmie is a great guy.
    2. On the brake check to Byron – First reporting was Byron rammed him to show displeasure and came out loser. later story reads “brake check” Looking at the video I don’t see it – Kyle slowed down but had a comfortable lead on Byron and Byron had plenty of time and visibility to judge. I’m sticking with initial reporting from video – Byron hit him.
    3. On the “punt” to Byron – No video on that except viewers seeing Byron sliding off track. Even media said “don’t know how he got there, but Kyle did it” ?*&_….If there’s evidence to that effect lets see it. I can believe it, but need to see it.
    4. It’s one thing doing something it’s another when crew chief, owner and media all to call for retaliation and effectively say “go beat him up” to the public. Included, but not said was “it’s KYLE – everyone including NASCAR will side with you”,

    • Great comment. How many races has the author of this article run? ZERO! But yet he thinks he knows everything? If NASCAR had 40 drivers with the kind of passion Kyle has, we would be seeing the best racing in the world! There will always be Kyle haters. I was at Bristol when Kyle went to the tail late in the race and almost came back to win not once but twice. Best racing I have ever seen. What a show he put on.

  3. Some commenters must have Kyle’s face tattooed on their asses. He went to the back a few times, some from pit sequences, some from on track events. Every time I saw him flying back through the field to the front using everyone up every lap. Driving like he was the only one that mattered and acting like everyone else should yield. Glad to see someone draw the line. I am no Bubba fan nor Byron fan, but Kyle acts like he is god out there and everyone else should kneel before him. What a &*^*.

    • He is God in the track, name one other driver that has that kind of passion. You can’t ! If you could, we would be seeing the best racing in the world. Every other driver drives scared, especially Jimmy. He needs to ride off into the sunset. Even Jeff knew when it was time.

  4. I’ve heard J. Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and others comment about not putting up with being raced hard by the younger drivers.

    It’s nice to see some of the younger drivers saying “Oh, Hell no” and standing up for themselves.

    • It is not the younger drivers standing up for themselves, that’s the only way they can compete. They were brought up too soon, haven’t paid their dues.

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