Joey Logano twice presented his side of the Las Vegas fight story on Friday.
After getting back on track at Phoenix Raceway and qualifying ninth, it was Kyle Busch’s turn.
Busch spoke to a pair of reporters (including me) on pit road after his qualifying lap, telling us why he punched Logano last week and adding he still didn’t buy Logano’s explanation.
When Busch tried to make a move down the backstretch and avoid a slowing Brad Keselowski on the last lap, he made contact with Logano. He felt Logano then took revenge right away.
“It was instantaneous,” Busch said. “I made a move down the backstretch that cut Joey off — and I had to; I wasn’t just going to roll out of the gas and fall in behind Brad and probably lose spots to more guys behind me. So I made a bold move — I was two-thirds of my way past Logano, and I figured I can wedge my way through there a little bit.
“And I did, and it was instantaneous retaliation. That’s what I thought and that’s kind of what I still think.”
Logano presented Busch with data during their meeting with NASCAR that he felt proved the incident was unintentional, but Busch didn’t believe it.
“No,” Busch said after being asked whether the data changed his mind. “Nope.”
Busch said he’s raced Logano well over the years and “didn’t expect that move from Joey.” He thought the two would be able to showcase their talent in a good, side-by-side finish and then say something like, “Ah, he got me this time. Damn.”
But Logano “chose a different route,” Busch said.
“And if it was Brad, I would have expected that route to be chosen, you know what I mean?” he added. “So that’s how I interpret that.”
Busch also expressed frustration over “continuing to get wrecked by the Penske guys.” You’ll recall Logano has also been in recent high-profile wrecks with Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth.
As for the lack of NASCAR penalty for punching Logano on pit road?
“There could have been different circumstances that played out that wouldn’t have allowed me to be here, and that’s why I said what I said earlier — that everything is great,” Busch said. “Life is good.”
Oh, and one more thing: Did Busch’s punch connect or not?
Busch’s public relations representative cut off the question, and the driver didn’t answer — but Busch grinned and shook his hand like it hurt.