Aric Almirola vowed last weekend to make the final three races of the Cup Series season “hell” for Kyle Busch after they were involved in a wreck at Martinsville that eliminated Almirola from the race.
A big difference between the two drivers is that Busch is still in the playoffs, while Almirola was eliminated after the first round.
While appearing on Wednesday’s episode of NASCAR America presents MotorMouths, Busch brushed off Almirola’s threat when asked if he was concerned about retaliation from Almirola.
“Look, I got a hell of a lot more than Aric Almirola to worry about every single week, OK?” said Busch, who is trying to win his second Cup title. “There’s 40 other guys that would probably love to get the action in on the 18 car as well, too. Because you’re a fan favorite as soon as you do. Aric’s not the only guy. There’s others that are out there. We’ll race them as we need to race them and what happens happens.”
His run-in with Almirola wasn’t the only story Busch was part of in Martinsville.
On Saturday, one of Busch’s drivers in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series, Todd Gilliland, broke through with his first career Truck Series win after 46 starts.
Gilliland, who has been the subject of criticism from Busch over his struggles to win, let his frustrations be known over his team radio after taking the checkered flag.
“Kyle Busch you can stay in your (expletive) motorhome,” Gilliland said.
Busch, who had been in his Cup team’s hauler during the race, said he “may or may not have known” about Gilliland’s comments when he went to congratulate the driver on his win.
“I just walked up to him and said ‘Hey man, congratulations. Good job. You got it done, won your race. You and the team. Keep it going,” Busch said. “Just handled it the way I did in the instance.”
While Gilliland later publicly apologized for his comment, Busch said the two of them “talked it out” over the phone on Tuesday.
“He went to apologize, kind of the same thing that he said on Twitter,” Busch said. “I’m like, ‘OK, it’s all fine. Not really sure that’s the first time you’ve thought of that because it came so easily.'”
Busch made sure to mention that Gilliland’s job security is still intact for the final two races of the season.
“Everybody’s wondering, ‘Is he fired?’ No, he’s going to finish out the season,” Busch said.