CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kyle Busch knows the Sprint All-Star race Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway is the perfect opportunity for Kasey Kahne to pay him back for Busch wrecking Kahne three times in 2013.
With no points on the line and most of the drivers in the field expressing the opinion "you want to either win it or bring back just the steering wheel in your hands," it wouldn't come as a surprise if a driver decides the All-Star race is the time for retaliation.
Yet Busch doesn't expect Kahne to take advantage of the situation.
"I don't think Kasey is that kind of guy," said Busch, "but if it happens, I'll understand."
Busch added that he had talked with Kahne since their latest run-in at Darlington.
"The first two instances were a mistake, just misjudgment," Busch said. "Kasey admitted he had to get on the brakes in Daytona and checked up a little bit and I ran over him. Last week (at Darlington) was just hard racing. He pulled a huge slide job on me in turn three and I got back to his inside and I had been running down there on the flat all night.
"I didn't think there was going to be a problem and when I got down there (turn one) I just got tight and pushed up a little bit. Whether or not we touched, I think that's insignificant because I'm not racing to wreck Kasey Kahne, but Kasey Kahne did crash because of me so it's a part of hard racing at the end of the race and I hate that it keeps being the same guy.
"I don't know why it keeps happening the way it's happened and I hate that it is, but last week was just hard racing (for the lead) and it certainly became unfortunate. It does look a little redundant so I get that part of it, too."
Busch noted that "racing up front, racing hard I'm sure there could be a moment where it could come back on me and I expect it; it's fine. I just told Kasey, I said, 'Just don't make it hurt too bad.' "
MARTIN 'BROKEN-HEARTED' ABOUT TRICKLE
While Busch's latest confrontation with Kahne was a major part of the conversation this weekend, the shocking suicide death of short-track legend Dick Trickle, 71, on Thursday dominated every discussion in the garage area.
Mark Martin, who raced against Trickle during the early portion of his illustrious career, called Trickle "a really, really good dude. He raced us real hard on the race track, but off the race track, he was very free with parts or advice -- he gave freely.
"He was the winningest driver in the country. Probably bar none. He raced five nights a week and he won a lot of them (reportedly more than 1,000). He had a real special personality. He was tough, but he was fun. He was just a very unique person. I'm broken-hearted about what happened."
Added Matt Kenseth, "Man, Dick was a legend, especially up in Wisconsin short track racing where I grew up. Last time I saw him was at Slinger (Speedway in Wis.) last year. We won the Nationals. We talked for two hours and he always had a lot of -- he had a unique way of looking at things, he had a ton of common sense and he was really smart and always had a really funny way of putting things. I'm still in shock.
"He's just a racer's racer. That's all he cared about and all he worked on and that was all he did."
Defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski called Trickle "the superstar of that style, of that genre and era. It's very sad to see him go, and obviously, difficult with the way it went."
EDWARDS HONORS TRICKLE
Carl Edwards, who won the pole for the All-Star race, paid Trickle the ultimate compliment by putting Trickle's name above the driver's door. He also shared the No. 99 with him.
"Greg Emmar, one of the mechanics, texted me and then we talked with Randy Fuller and all the guys (on the 99 team)," Edwards said. "There were so many guys from up there in Wisconsin where Dick Trickle is a hero. (Crew chief) Jimmy (Fennig) worked with him.
"So they came up with the idea since we are the 99 car and there are so many guys from Wisconsin, to try to honor him in some way and putting his name above the door was their idea."