Kurt Busch won the race to the finish line Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway, but his younger brother won the race to the airport.
“I was supposed to fly home with him, and now I’m looking for a plane ride,” Kurt said with a laugh after outdueling his younger brother, Kyle, during an overtime restart on the 1.5-mile oval. “So that’s Kyle. He won’t even wait. We shared a plane ride earlier this year. It was Phoenix where he won, and I had to sit there and wait for him to do his little victory lane thing.
“It’ll be fine. We’re going over to his house actually for a little get‑together on a Sunday off, and I’m going to plop the trophy down right on his kitchen counter.”
It was the third time the brothers from Las Vegas had finished 1-2 in a Cup race, but the first in which Kurt had emerged the victor. The most recent was at Bristol Motor Speedway three months ago when Kurt had vowed he would have wrecked Kyle if he’d gotten close enough.
They nearly crashed on the final lap at Kentucky, making contact off the final turn that nearly caused both to lose control (watch the video of the finish above).
“It’s obviously cool to put on great races and great finishes and been a part of a lot of them and … none with my brother like that, so that was a first,” said Kyle, who did also win a spirited battled with his older brother in the June 28, 2015 race at Sonoma. “You know, no hard feelings, and we move on.”
Though they both have one title in NASCAR’s premier series, Kyle has the upper hand in Cup victories with 55 (of his 206 in NASCAR national series); Kurt’s win Saturday was the 31st of his career.
“It’s very special to race a sibling,” Kurt said during an interview in the NASCAR on NBC postrace show. “I couldn’t be more proud of (Kyle) over the years on how many wins he’s accumulated. He crested over that 40-win mark a while back. Now he’s 50-plus wins, and the Xfinity wins, the truck wins, the truck ownership.
“His passion for motorsport is way beyond where I thought the coach potato he was when he was my little brother growing up, and I love to call him my little brother, but he gave me room on that outside. I think he gave me room where maybe he wouldn’t have given that little half a foot to somebody.”
Though they haven’t competed head to head for victories often in their 15 full seasons of racing in Cup together, Kurt said “it’s special to race against my little brother each and every week.
“The Manning brothers, the Williams sisters, there’s plenty of siblings that go head to head,” he said, “but they don’t go head to head week in and week out like we do.”
During his interview with Krista Voda, Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett on the NBCSN postrace show, Kurt Busch also provided a detailed account of the final two laps at Kentucky, how his career has been viewed and why Chip Ganassi Racing was the right fit when he moved this season.
Watch the interview in the video below or by clicking here.