Kyle Busch Bummed After Sunday Crash
Wednesday, October 3rd 2007, 12:09 pm
By: News On 6
NEW YORK (AP) Dale Earnhardt Jr. left Kyle Busch a message this week, presumably to apologize for wrecking him last week at Kansas Speedway. The two have yet to connect, but it's little consolation to Busch, anyway.
He was in the thick of the race for the Nextel Cup title before the accident, but now sits sixth in the standings after his 41st-place finish.
``He left me a message, but his number is blocked and he didn't tell me how to get in touch with him,'' Kyle Busch said. ``It's pretty hard to swallow to be totally wrecked like that by the guy who is taking your job next season, and it really hurt us in the Chase. It's done now, nothing you can do, but I don't feel real good about it.''
In New York City to unveil sponsor M&M's for his new ride at Joe Gibbs Racing on Wednesday morning, Kyle Busch was bustling with anticipation for his fresh start with a new team.
But he couldn't help but feel a twinge of bitterness over the events of last Sunday. Kyle Busch had a strong car early in the race when Dale Earnhardt Jr. came barreling behind him in an attempt to pass. Earnhardt had a huge run on Busch, and when Kyle Busch didn't move out of his way, he slammed directly into the back of him to send Busch spiraling down the track.
Kyle Busch then shot back across the track and into the wall in a devastating hit to his title chances. He had started the day just 10 points out of first in the Nextel Cup standings, but now sits 136 out.
``To be wrecked like that just 28 laps into a race is pretty unbelievable,'' Kyle Busch said. ``There's not a doubt in my mind we had a top-three car, and we had it totally taken away from us by another driver. It hurts. It's going to be tough to come back from.''
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has acknowledged he was at fault for the accident, but aside from a voice mail left early this week, he's yet to speak to Kyle Busch about it.
``I'm really sorry about that, I was running the high line as we came off turn two and he kind of made a move to the inside like he was giving me the high line,'' Dale Earnhardt Jr. said after the race. ``I was committed to my line, so when he came up, I was there and was hard into him before I could do anything. I don't blame him for being upset because I ran into him.''
Kyle Busch is being let go from Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the season as the team makes way for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a decision that was announced in June. But Busch remained committed to his No. 5 team despite the impending breakup, and they are a legitimate title contender.
Earnhardt, meanwhile, failed to qualify for the Chase in his final season driving for Dale Earnhardt Inc.
New boss Rick Hendrick said Dale Earnhardt Jr. called him during a lengthy rain delay in Sunday's race to discuss the accident.
``He said he was sorry, and that he never did it to wreck him,'' Rick Hendrick said. ``He thought he was going one way and he said `I just had so much momentum, I couldn't stop.'
``I hate what happened, it was just one of those racing deals, and it does make it a little bit tougher because it was with Junior.'
Kyle Busch can't afford to harbor a grudge about it, though. With just seven races left to decide the championship, he's got to focus on putting together a comeback if he's to have a shot at winning the title.