Kyle Busch clears the air with Alex Bowman after Vegas rant

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Kyle Busch cleared the air Monday with Alex Bowman after ranting against Bowman following last week’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas.

Busch, the victim of a late-race caution while leading in Vegas, colorfully suggested Bowman has backed into each of his wins. Bowman took two tires ahead of the overtime restart and stormed to Victory Lane while Busch finished fourth.

“The same (expletive) guy that backs into every (expletive) win that he ever (expletive) gets, backs into another (expletive) win. (Expletive)! (Expletive)!” Busch radioed to his team.

Bowman appeared on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio’s “On Track” Wednesday and explained his conversation with Busch:

“I talked to Kyle Monday night, and he was just mad because he lost the race,” Bowman said. “Like he wasn’t mad at me. I didn’t do anything to him.

“Kyle and I have always raced each other with respect. He was just mad that he lost the race, and I was the one on the other end of the rant. Obviously, Kyle’s really passionate. We’ve seen that from him for a long time, and I was in the fire on that one, but he basically just said he was mad about losing the race and didn’t mean to be so disrespectful to me.”

After seeing a transcript of Busch’s outburst on Twitter, Bowman pitched the idea of selling T-shirts — the second time in five races a Joe Gibbs Racing driver has given Bowman quoteable, printable material.

Soon after Sunday’s incident, a link was available to purchase “All Luck, No Skill” shirts featuring the phrase, “Backing into Wins,” on the back, with 18% — the number matching Busch’s car — of proceeds being donated to local animal shelters.

Busch’s website later made items on its site 48% off — matching Bowman’s car number.

In October, Bowman wheeled the No. 48 car to a win at Martinsville Speedway after contact with Denny Hamlin that sent Hamlin spinning. Hamlin called Bowman a “hack,” and Bowman promptly sold T-shirts emblazoned with his new nickname.

“As far as Denny goes, I crashed him. I got loose and screwed up and crashed him,” Bowman told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “I understand him being mad about that. I think Denny got super personal and crossed all of the lines, but at the same time, I understand why he was mad.”

Bowman’s ultimate goal with the shirts has been to turn negatives into positives. While some of those proceeds were used to buy his team members Martinsville clocks, the rest was donated to Best Friends Animal Society, increasing aid to a network of animal shelters nationwide.

“It’s cool to be able to raise the money for homeless pets,” Bowman said, “and it’s been fun to see all the fan interaction with the T-shirts because we’re definitely selling a lot of them.”