The trials and tribulations of Bristol Motor Speedway can be very frustrating to deal with.
Thus, it’s probably safe to assume that Kyle Busch and his crew chief, Dave Rogers, are not the first driver/CC combo to get mad at each other during a night in Thunder Valley.
But considering that they’re preparing to race for a Sprint Cup title in a few weeks, their radio conversation late in last night’s Irwin Tools Night Race may not be interpreted as a good sign.
Busch’s frustrations began earlier on in the evening, when he was tagged with a pit road speeding penalty and then got involved in a multi-car pileup at Lap 125 that effectively ruined any hope of a decent finish.
Fast-forward to near the end of the race, where Busch and Rogers had the following radio exchange according to Motor Racing Network’s Dustin Long:
Busch: “I need a whole new right front suspension, a whole new right front suspension. I will be behind the wall in about two [expletive] laps.”
Rogers: “Park it behind the truck and take your whiny little ass to the bus.”
Both Rogers and team owner Joe Gibbs downplayed the exchange afterwards, with Rogers characterizing it as a miscommunication.
“We came back here to the truck and had a great talk,” Rogers said according to Long. “You look at things like this as a negative and negatives create positives if you look at them the right way. We got to air things out and had a great talk. I think we’re going to be better going forward.”
As for Gibbs – who’s no doubt seen some instances like this before over the course of his careers in both the NFL and NASCAR – he didn’t express concern about a potential rift between his driver and CC on the No. 18 squad.
“That’s just pro sports,” Gibbs said according to NASCAR.com. “Every now and then, you get frustrated.”
Over the last four races, Busch, Rogers and the 18 camp have suffered one calamity after another.
Pocono saw Busch bow out early with an engine failure. At the next race at Watkins Glen, contact between him and Martin Truex Jr. relegated “Rowdy” to a 40th-place finish.
Then at Michigan, Busch hit the wall on Lap 4 and was forced to the garage for extensive repairs before finishing 39th. Last night, Busch was credited with 36th place.
In a post-race statement on his own web site, Busch did not reference his exchange with Rogers.
“It was a very frustrating night,” he said. “I thought we had a pretty good Doublemint Camry, and we were able to make it through the field there at the start of the race and take the lead. I’m not sure where we are off on the speeding penalty, but we’ll have to look at what the issue there was.
“You get back into the field, and we ended up getting caught up in someone else’s mess. The Doublemint guys worked hard to get our car as raceable as possible, but it turned out to be a really long night.”