A new rivalry? Jeff Burton confronts Kyle Busch after race

Say this for Kyle Busch: he doesn't have much trouble making people mad.

On the final restart of the Coca-Cola 600, Busch immediately made a move to go three wide. He found himself in the middle between Jeff Burton, who was on the outside, and Burton's teammate, Clint Bowyer, who was on the inside.

It looked like Busch might have gotten the right side of his splitter into Burton's left rear tire, and Burton immediately shot up the track and slowed.

After the race, Burton angrily went over to Busch's car, and while most of Burton's comments were inaudible, it was very obvious that Burton was very unhappy with Busch and at one point told him to "Calm your (self) down," and that he wasn't going to stick up (or another synonym) for Busch any longer.

That "nice and respect stuff" that Burton talked about Thursday was in reference to Busch's spat with Denny Hamlin during the All-Star Race. When asked about the dispute between Kyle and Denny Hamlin, Burton was charitable toward the 18:

“Kyle is an aggressive driver and he runs hard every lap. Kyle, in my view, has never been a guy that wrecks other people. Honestly, he puts himself in some situations where you’re thinking, ‘I don’t know if he’s going to come out of that.’ On restarts he’s real aggressive, but I’ve never felt that Kyle was a guy that I looked at and said, ‘That dude takes a lot of people out.’ There’s been a lot of guys that came in trying to be aggressive that have been taking more people out than Kyle ever did in my opinion," Burton said.

"I really like racing with Kyle. We’ve had some really good knock-down drag-out races, and when it’s over typically we’re all cool with it. I really like racing with him. He’s really aggressive, but he typically does it in a way that puts himself at harm. Now, obviously if you’re behind him and he gets in trouble, you’re going to get in it with him. I like racing with Kyle; I really do. I know he’s going to be aggressive and I know he’s going to come at me, but I’m good with that."

Busch's move didn't look anything out of the ordinary, especially for a battle inside the top 10 on a double-file restart late in the race. Sure, there wasn't much room for Busch's car, but it's not like this isn't to be expected from Busch, especially given the circumstances.

It also could be a case of pent-up frustration for Burton, widely considered to be the unofficial garage spokesman for the Sprint Cup Series. The normally mild-mannered Burton has had terrible luck at the end of races this season (Martinsville, Texas), so while he may have a point, it may have more to do with how Burton's season has gone than Busch's actions Sunday night.

What to Read Next