Kyle Busch is not a fan of Brad Keselowski’s writing.
Already, the two drivers have had their run-ins on the track and don’t proclaim to be friends off it. Last month, Keselowski wrote on his website how much he missed racing Busch since Busch’s injury and how the two have “never had much of a relationship at all. I’m not sure why, and quite honestly, I wish things were different.’’
Busch, in his first press conference since suffering a broken right leg and left foot nearly two months ago in a crash at Daytona International Speedway, was asked about Keselowski’s story Wednesday.
“For when it came out, it was probably poor, but it was based off him missing me essentially and me not being out there on the race track with him making stories … so he made a story about us off the race track,’’ Busch said. “So that’s why I say I think the timing was bad.’’
Keselowski wrote about two early experiences with Busch that shaped future interactions.
Keselowski recalled his first encounter with Busch in Aug. 2001 at a Camping World Truck Series event at what was Indianapolis Raceway Park. Their haulers were parked beside each other.
Here’s how Keselowski detailed that first meeting:
“I walked out of our hauler, and right there before me was Kyle, sitting just outside his. No one else was around.
“I remember looking at him and being stone cold jealous. Still, I tried to tell myself to be the bigger person. It wasn’t easy. Finally, I walked over to him and said, “Hello.”
He looked at me, gave me kind of a stare, and never said a word. So I walked away.
“It was one of the first times I’d ever tried to be bigger than my own jealousy and disappointment. Kyle had wound up feeding both, and he definitely didn’t know it. In fact, he probably doesn’t remember that exchange at all. But it actually affected me quite a bit.
“I wasn’t a mature 17-year-old, and I was still really struggling with my lack of success and opportunities. It was the first time I’d ever tried to put myself out there with another driver like that, and in my mind, I’d gotten burned.’’
Busch said Keselowski is correct about one thing from that scene.
“I don’t recollect one bit – not one percent of that,’’ Busch said Wednesday. “Why would I be sitting at the back of my hauler the first time somebody comes up to me and says hello and I just ignore them? That doesn’t make any sense to me, especially me being a 16-year-old kid just getting into the sport. Whether that was before or after qualifying when I just wadded up my truck and had to start at the back in a backup truck at IRP, I don’t know. It might have just been after (owner) Jack Roush chewed my rear off, so again I don’t recollect that.’’
Keselowski wrote about a second meeting with Busch that impacted him. It was at Bristol Motor Speedway in Aug. 2006 during a Truck event.
“I was running in practice, and Kyle was really fast. So I went up to Kyle, who was sitting on the pit wall, and asked for some advice in between practice sessions. I honestly don’t even remember what I wanted to know — probably something about the track that a more experienced driver could impart to a less experienced one. Whatever I asked, he gave me a one word answer — something like, “Yeah” — and turned his back. That was it.’’
Busch said he recalled that exchange and that Keselowski accurately described what happened.
“It was weekly making an ass of himself of wrecking people and being an idiot, so I had no respect for him so I didn’t want to talk to him,’’ Busch said.
At the end of his blog post, Keselowski wrote:
“One day, I imagine both of us will kind of open our eyes, and realize that there’s really no need for everything that has and hasn’t happened between the two of us. I’ve had moments where I’ve been jealous of him. Maybe he’s had the same kinds of moments about me — I don’t know. But hopefully, one day, we’ll be able to get along. When it comes to racing, it seems like we have too much in common not to. I just have to believe that eventually, we’ll get past everything that we’ve been through, and get to someplace better.
“I’m looking for ways to get there. Maybe this is one of them.’’