The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series completed the third event of the season on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. A new format and new race procedures have led to very exciting on-track action. On Sunday afternoon, that excitement spilled over to pit road. A post-race altercation between Kyle Busch and Joey Logano resulted in Busch walking away bleeding.
In the final lap of the Kobalt 400, heading into turn three, Busch made an abrupt move to the left in an effort to pass the slowing car of Brad Keselowski. The issue, however, was the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford of Logano was already making an attempt to pass Busch. When Busch made his move, he made contact with the right front fender of Logano.
The two drivers gathered their cars and drove into turn three looking toward the finish. Logano, trying to regain some of the ground he lost due to the contact of Busch, drove in deep, got loose and began to chase the car up the track, collecting Busch in the process. The contact sent Busch spinning and eventually finishing 22nd. Logano continued on and finished fourth.
As the drivers exited their cars on pit road, Busch approached Logano and took a swing, appearing to make contact. Several crew members immediately got involved pulling the two drivers apart. Busch spent some time on the ground with crew members from the No. 22 team.
Once the scuffle was over, Busch was walking away from the scene with a trickle of blood on his forehead.
During the post-race interviews, Busch stated the reason for the scuffle was that he “got dumped” and also indicated that is “how Joey races”. Logano seemed to indicate he was not hit during the altercation, however, video footage seems to indicate otherwise.
Logano has earned a reputation for hard driving over the past several years. A notable incident with Busch’s teammate, Matt Kenseth, received significant media attention. Perhaps previous incidents with Busch or his Toyota teammates led to Busch’s feeling of frustration or rush to judgement toward Logano. Or perhaps, it was heat of the moment and Busch saw things differently from his perspective. In this situation, however, Logano did not appear to be at fault. In fact, Busch made the first move that led to contact on the backstretch when he abruptly moved left. Logano obviously got loose in the corner before the contact. It did not appear intentional. He did, of course, drive in very hard, but that is what fans have been asking for. Busch should understand that, he runs as hard as any driver in the field.
Once Busch has time to calm down and review the replays, it is highly possible he will have a change of heart on exactly what happened in Vegas.
According to Busch’s post-race statements, however, what happens in Vegas, will NOT stay in Vegas.
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