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Nick Bromberg

Todd Bodine denies Kyle Busch a fifth straight NASCAR victory

Nick Bromberg
From The Marbles

Boy, Kyle Busch isn't making many friends these days, is he?

During the mid-portion of Friday night's Camping World Truck Series race at Kentucky, Todd Bodine and Busch were racing for the lead when Bodine -- who was on the inside of Busch -- spun as the two were side by side exiting Turn 4. The spin dropped Bodine from second to the back of the pack but turned into the move of the race, given that it looked improbable that Bodine was going to beat Busch heads up.

"The first person I've got to thank is Kyle Busch for driving dirty and sucking me down and getting me spun out and giving us the gas," Bodine told SPEED in victory lane.

Busch must have heard those comments, as he stormed into victory lane after Bodine's interview. The two had an animated discussion -- Busch pointed his finger at Bodine's chest -- before Busch left about a minute later.

Because of the spin, Bodine's last pit stop came on Lap 96 of the 150 lap race, and his crew chief, Mike Hillman, Jr., made the decision to try to stretch it on fuel. That worked out in Bodine's favor as the leaders, including Busch, pitted under green to make sure to make it to the finish while Bodine was successfully able to gamble on fuel.

And Bodine got a chance to extend his already seemingly insurmountable points lead even further. He leaves Kentucky with a 261-point lead over second place Aric Almirola, who finished third. That's the largest points lead in Trucks Series history.

Busch ended up seventh.

UPDATE: In a great job of follow-up reporting, SPEED's Ray Dunlap talked to Bodine after the victory lane festivities were over.

"He wasn't happy that I called him out on TV," Bodine said to Dunlap. "It's a shame that -- he's such a good kid and when you get him away from this racing atmosphere and he's off just being Kyle, he's a good kid. He's a lot of fun, I've been there with him. But you put him behind the wheel and he thinks he owns the racetrack. And he doesn't cut anybody a break and if this was an isolated incident, I'd let it slide, I wouldn't worry about it. But he drives that way in every division, every week, and he didn't like it."

UPDATE No. 2: Here's what Kyle Busch had to say about the incident:

"I thought that was kind of low, but that's how Bodine is. The Germain's are great people and have the utmost respect for them. Bob [Germain] gave me a lift down here last night, I appreciate that. It was just a matter of hard racing I thought. He didn't want me racing him that hard. Maybe next time I'll lift."

When asked if he was upset by Bodine calling him a "dirty" driver, Busch responded, "I don't feel like I'm a dirty racer. I feel like I'm a hard racer and an aggressive one. I wouldn't call it dirty. Dirty is when you run into the back of somebody down the back straightaway and put them in the fence."

Busch said the reason he went to victory lane was because he didn't know when else he would get the chance to talk to Bodine.

"I was in the hauler changing and saw him spout his mouth off on TV and went straight over there and confronted him right then and there. I had to go so when was I going to do it? I didn't have to go to the media center so I didn't have a chance to battle there. I don't need to battle in the media, I'll just beat him on the race track."

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