Busch, starting on the outside, pulled ahead of Keselowski once they cleared the start-finish line. Keselowski then moved up to outside line. As they approached Turn 1, Busch and his No. 18 Toyota moved up in front of Keselowski, but Busch had not cleared him.
Busch hit Keselowski, bounced off the outside wall and then began sliding down the track and into the grass inside Turn 1.
Busch was able to continue and stayed on the lead lap after pitting for repairs. Keselowski led every lap of the first stage.
“I don’t think (Busch) knew I was there,” Keselowksi said after the race. “I lifted the best I could, I guess I just didn’t do a good enough job lifting. I was already pulling up alongside of him. I tried to lift but I guess we could have done a better job. I had a big run and tried to go to the bottom and tried to go to the top. There was only so many places to go on the race track.”
The incident is the latest chapter in the long history between Busch and Keselowski, but it is the first on-track run-in between the drivers this year.
It comes a few weeks after Keselowski criticized Busch for his behavior in his post-race press conference after the Coke 600.
The accident was similar to one between the drivers last year in the Xfinity Series’ night race at Bristol. Busch called Keselowski a “dirty driver” after he made contact with Keselowski and hit the wall with less than five laps to go.
In 2013, Keselowski was on the receiving end of an accident at Kansas in the Xfinity Series, when Busch turned the No. 22 car on the frontstretch and sent Keselowski into the wall.
Keselowski let the world know how he felt about Busch in 2010. During driver introductions for the Bristol night race, Keselowski proclaimed “Kyle Busch is an ass” into a microphone.