Tempers flare between Keselowski, Kyle Busch after NNS crash at Kansas

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Matt Kenseth won the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway, but the bigger story from today’s event could stretch into tomorrow’s Sprint Cup race at the 1.5-mile oval.

That’s because on Lap 188 of 200, Kyle Busch got into the back of Brad Keselowski coming off of Turn 4 and sent him spinning into the front-stretch wall, rear end first.

Once Keselowski hopped out of his damaged No. 22 Penske Racing Ford, he ran across the infield grass while pointing toward Busch’s pit box then took a left and jogged toward the infield care center. Afterwards, Keselowski proceeded to rip Busch verbally.

“I got wrecked by a dirty driver,” Keselowski said. “There is no other way of putting it. He is cool with that. I have raced him really cool over the last year to be respectful to him and try to repair our relationship. I’ve watched him wreck my trucks and keep me from winning races. He put me in the fence in Chicago in the truck race and the Nationwide races, he has been pulling this crap.

“It is not gonna last, I can tell you that. I feel bad for the guys next to me that are going to have to fix his stuff. That is going to be part of racing and they are going to have to deal with it.”

According to the Associated Press, Busch maintained that his No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota simply got tight coming off the corner, which forced the car to move up into Keselowski.

“It was hard racing,” Busch told the AP. “There were a lot of moments where I may be felt a little crowded. The contact that ultimately ended it, I just got real tight.”

One has to wonder if Keselowski will be out for revenge during tomorrow’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas, the fourth race in the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup. If so, that could be trouble for Busch, who sits third in the Chase at 12 points behind teammate Matt Kenseth.

“He has a lot more to lose than I do,” Keselowski said per the AP. “I guess that’s the good thing about not being in the Chase.”

As for the NNS title battle, Austin Dillon has taken over the points lead with a sixth-place result this afternoon. He now leads the NNS standings by eight points over Sam Hornish Jr., who finished 17th after tagging the wall earlier in the race.

Alex Palou fastest as several go off course during IndyCar practice at IMS

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
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Alex Palou paced the opening practice Thursday for the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Dale Coyne Racing rookie turned a 1-minute, 10.177-second lap around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in his No. 55 Dallara-Honda.

Jack Harvey was second, followed by Colton Herta, points leader Scott Dixon and Max Chilton.

PRACTICE CHART: Click here to see the speed rundown from Thursday’s session

FRIDAY AT IMS: Details for watching Race 1 of the Harvest GP

Qualifying for Friday’s race will be at 6:20 p.m. ET Thursday on NBC Sports Gold.

Will Power, who won the pole position for the July 4 race at the track, spun off course with just more than a minute left in the session after the left rear of his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet made slight contact with the right front of Alexander Rossi’s No. 28 Dallara-Honda.

Power was among several drivers who went off track, but there were no damaged cars during the session. Marcus Ericsson missed the final 5 minutes of the practice after being penalized for causing a red flag with a Turn 8 spin.

Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Helio Castroneves, who is driving for Oliver Askew (who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms), also veered off course as did rookie Rinus VeeKay and Santino Ferrucci.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was in attendance at the session before racing Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson will be driving a partial schedule of road and street courses in IndyCar next season for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Literally, the smallest of details, I can pick up on,” Johnson told NBC Sports pit reporter Kevin Lee. “It’s been really nice today just to see how a session starts and obviously to jump on the radio and listen to how the systems work and then obviously you get into the car and the setup and such. I’m at ground zero right now, a 45-year-old rookie trying to learn my way into a new sport essentially.”

Johnson told Lee his sponsorship hunt to run a Ganassi car “has gone really well. The fact that I’m here today and ingrained so deeply in the team is a great sign of where things are going. Looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a car soon and hopefully having some announcements for the world to see soon, too.”

Fans were in attendance Thursday for the first time this season at IMS, which is allowed a limited crowd of 10,000 for its races this weekend.