Heading into Sunday’s (August 4) Go Bowling at the Glen, Kyle Busch was one of the pre-race favorites. But from the get-go, the No. 18 had an eventful afternoon.
On lap 2, Busch dove underneath William Byron heading into turn 1 for the runner-up position. Busch wheel-hopped, spun out and dropped outside the top 10.
Throughout the rest of the opening stage, Busch charged through the field. It seemed like recovery was possible until he got to Byron for fourth position. When approaching the inner loop, Busch sent the No. 24 off into the grass. Over Byron’s radio, crew chief Chad Knaus wasn’t pleased, pleading to his driver to retaliate to get the grass off the grille or else he and his driver would have an issue.
— Tom Bowles From Frontstretch.com (@NASCARBowles) August 4, 2019
But when Byron got up behind Busch, the No. 18 appeared to slam on its brakes, damaging the front end of the No. 24. Byron ended the day in 21st.
While his driver had no comment post-race, team owner Rick Hendrick expanded on the Byron-Busch incident.
“If you let guys push you around, you let them know that you’re not going to let that happen,” Hendrick said. “I think he got the worst end of the deal when Kyle brake-checked him and knocked the front end out of the car. Sometimes, in the heat of the battle you want to do things, and if you thought about it a little bit more you settle down and finish the race. In the heat of the battle, I didn’t know Chad (Knaus, crew chief) told him to [do that]. If I had a radio, I would have probably told him the same thing.”
Kyle Busch, meanwhile, didn’t add much. “You saw what happened,” Busch said curtly before walking away after the race.
But that was just the start of his problems. With just under 30 laps to go, Busch was again the center of attention, this time making contact with Bubba Wallace. The lap prior, Busch hit Wallace going through the carousel. So, when the two got out of turn 7, it was game on down the frontstretch for Wallace.
Ultimately, it ended with the driver of the No. 43 turning Busch going into turn 1, bringing out the caution. After the race, Wallace sounded off on the incident and was frustrated over Busch’s on-track aggression.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) August 4, 2019
“He just ran me the f*ck over, that’s exactly what happened,” Wallace said post-race. “I don’t care if I’m two years in, rookie stripes or what, but I’m going to get my respect on the track and I don’t care who it is. That’s what guys fail to think about the young guys or with me. I won’t put up with no sh*t, so I flat out wrecked his ass.
“He ran over me, for sure. I guess we’re even. … That’s what happens when you get run over, you just pay it back. I won’t be like ‘Oh, it’s Kyle Busch, he didn’t mean to.’ F*ck him.”
Busch rebounded to finish 11th while Wallace managed a 28th-place result.