Keselowski seeks resolution to issues with Kyle Busch

The SportsXchange

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

Distributed by The Sports Xchange

BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Kyle Busch hasn't spoken to Brad Keselowski since the last-lap incident that knocked Busch out of the lead last Sunday at Watkins Glen International.

Kyle Busch hasn't spoken to reporters either, declining to share his views of the collision after the race and after Friday's qualifying session at Michigan International Speedway.

Busch had plenty of reason to be disappointed. After taking the white flag in the lead on Sunday, his No. 18 Toyota slipped in oil in the first corner. Busch went wide, to the left of the rumble strips that define the course.

Keselowski managed to keep his car to the right of the strips and took a more direct line into Turn 2. Busch, who was never off the asphalt, returned to the racing line at a wider angle with his front quarter ahead of Keselowski, who held his line and spun Busch's Toyota.

Though Busch recovered to finish seventh, the spin deprived him of a possible victory and a much firmer hold on the second wild-card spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Instead, Busch trails Ryan Newman for the second of two wild-card berths.

Keselowski would like to see any issues he might have with Busch resolved before the Chase starts at Chicagoland on Sept. 16.

"I spoke with his crew chief, Dave Rogers, and tried to get a hold of him, but every phone number that I had was bad or something," Keselowski said Friday at Michigan. "Like I said after the race, it was unfortunate, because dumping the leader on the last lap is not something that I want to be known for.

"It's obviously something that happened, and everybody has got a different perspective on whether it was right, wrong or somewhere in-between. I'm probably right in the middle of that, how I feel about it. I feel like we're all going for the same spot. I obviously really pushed real hard, and he wasn't going to give it up. I'd like to talk to him first to truly understand his perspective.

"It certainly wasn't something that I wanted to see happen. I wasn't something that I intended to happen, but it obviously happened, and I can't make that go away and only hope he understands as a racer that he is that things like that happen, and it's just sometimes part of the breaks."

POINTS LEADER CHANGES ENGINES

There must have been a sense of deja vu for Jimmie Johnson and his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team.

Hours before the June race at Michigan, Johnson's team changed engines in the No. 48 Chevrolet, forcing Johnson to give up his 10th-place qualifying position and start from the back of the field. Ultimately, Johnson finished fifth.

On Saturday morning, Johnson's crew spent most of the first Sprint Cup practice session changing the engine once again, after specialists found a problem with the motor Johnson had used to claim the third starting spot on the grid.

"The guys saw something in warm-up this morning, and we were trying to sort through it before practice started," said Johnson, who must drop to the back of the field for the start of Sunday's Pure Michigan 400. "They took a deeper look at things right before practice started and decided to change it.

"We probably could have run some of this practice, but I think we had to change the engine regardless, but we didn't want to oil the track or create an issue and crash our car."

Michigan is one of five tracks where Johnson has never won a Cup race, and the engine issues will make the challenge of doing so more difficult for the five-time champion.

EARNHARDT TO BACKUP CAR

Dale Earnhardt Jr. went to a backup car for Sunday's race after crashing in Turn 2 late in Saturday's final practice session.

The No. 88 Chevrolet Earnhardt wrecked was the same one he drove to victory at Michigan in June, when he broke a 143-race winless streak.

Though Earnhardt didn't get any laps in the backup on Saturday, he tested the chassis during extended practice before the June race, according to a story by David Caraviello of NASCAR.com.

Earnhardt, who qualified 22nd, must start from the rear of the field on Sunday. No driver has won both Michigan races in the same season since Bobby Labonte accomplished the feat in 1995.
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