Brad Keselowski vs. Kyle Busch is the juicy subplot to Homestead

The drivers involved in NASCAR’s best rivalry are going to race against each other for the championship on Sunday.

Lucky us.

Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch genuinely do not get along, and there’s nothing phony about it. Busch sincerely dislikes Keselowski and has no plans to ever work on their relationship — this despite Keselowski making a public attempt to extend an olive branch in 2015.

“Sometimes you just don’t like a guy. Fact of the matter,” Busch said Thursday.

When Busch and Keselowski are put in situations where they have to be together — like riding in the back of a pickup truck before the race, for example — there’s rarely any conversation. At Dover in September, Busch was so ready to get out of Keselowski’s company that he undid the lift gate while the truck was coming to a stop and jumped out.

“Talking is a little overrated,” Keselowski joked Thursday. “I grunt — arugh! — like Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylor (from Home Improvement).

“Nah, I don’t know. (People) probably get caught up in all these relationship things and forget about the reality of what this stuff is supposed to be all about — and that’s going on the racetrack and racing.”

But bad blood between drivers can matter — as evidenced by the recent Denny Hamlin/Chase Elliott incident at Phoenix — and could actually manifest itself on the track. The rivalry, while not overly heated at the moment, could play an outcome in deciding the championship.

It’s probably annoying to the competitors — particularly Keselowski, since he is the kind of guy who enjoys getting along with people — but the rivalry is a fun championship subplot for everyone else.

For whatever reason, Busch and Keselowski always find themselves together. They are a year apart in age, have children born two days apart from the other, own championship-caliber teams in the Camping World Truck Series and have one Cup title and Xfinity title apiece.

This week, they were together again for a media tour in New York City — along with Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick. Truex joked Busch and Keselowski “were like best pals,” but then added “they acted like normal people, so it was good.”

Said Harvick: “I thought they did fine. We kind of kept them separate in the cars. Martin took one car and I took the other car to keep them apart. So they did all right.”

But what’s the deal? Why has the rivalry continued for so long? It was all the way back in 2010 when Keselowski made his famous “Kyle Busch is an ass!” comment at Bristol.

That’s seven years ago! And it’s still going. Why?

“Both of us are fortunate to have great cars and great teams, and when you run up at the front a lot, things are going to happen when you’re going fast,” Keselowski said. “… When you race at the front and you’re racing for championships, it’s a great position to be in, and it’s just the way it has unfolded.”

In the end, two drivers not liking each other might not matter. Harvick noted Thursday the championship race “is not boxing.” It’s about the teams putting fast cars on the track, not a battle of the minds.

And it might not even last. Just look at Harvick and Busch, who used to hate each other but now get along.

“This week when we were doing the media stuff in New York, we were kind of like high school buddies,” Busch said of Harvick. “We were kind of joking around and making fun of the others.

“So that was kind of weird. Kevin and I, friends? What? I guess we’ve grown to respect one another and what each other has done.”

But does Busch ever see getting to that point with Keselowski?

“Probably not,” Busch said. “He’s just too different.”

5 Replies to “Brad Keselowski vs. Kyle Busch is the juicy subplot to Homestead”

  1. I always cheer for Ryan Blaney and Landon Cassill but in the final race I will do for Martin Truex Jr. as a question of pure merit of his.

  2. I’m happy to see this.

    No really.

    Passion, rivalry, potential for extra on track “action”.

    Love it.

    Least we forget NASCARs first “big” National TV moment revolved around two guys who didn’t get along and ended in a fist fight.

  3. Why doyou have to like a guy?Busch says he races Matt clean,what about Hornaday?Hummmm?Fun racing thisweekend

  4. Hamlin and Busch both dislike Keselowski. I am pretty sure Keselowski could let bygones be bygones. He and Edwards spent enough time in the trailer together that they became friends and I think he had more respect for Edwards than many of the other drivers.

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