Kyle Busch vows to "kill'' teammate after late-race crash Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch were battling for the lead late in the Sprint All-Star Race, Hamlin used defensive driving to protect his lead, Busch didn't have room on the outside and slammed into the all, pushing in his right front fender that would later cut down a tire and end the night for Busch, Busch was so angry he threatened to kill Hamlin over his team radio and camped out in the #11 hauler, waiting for Hamlin....so
Denny Hamlin, #11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, answers questions in this Toyota PR/quotes:
What happened between yourself and Kyle Busch on the race track? "First he (Kyle Busch) got a big run off the corner and I was clear getting into the corner. Basically I just throttled up extremely early and really it was a bad corner. He was going to go by me. He kind of went to the bottom and then went up high it looked like. Of course, I'm looking out my front windshield and he says I'm clear so I'm going to use all the race track I can. The problem is that Kyle had a run to the outside and with me moving up and getting real tight, it then took some air away from the front of his car and he slid up into the wall. It's tough for me. We talked about it and basically Kyle was just frustrated, he felt like he had a really good car. Me, I just came from the back with no practice and got back to the front where we needed to be and I felt like if I gave up the lead right there then I was going to give up the win. I don't think Kyle would do anything different if he was in my situation. It's just when you're the leader, my feeling is that you've got the whole race track. If a guy is to the outside then that's when you need to hold your line."
What was the conversation between yourself, Kyle Busch, Joe and J.D. Gibbs? "It's a good conversation to have. Me and Tony (Stewart) has had this same conversation and it was under a little different circumstance, but this is a good problem to have for our team. For two guys to be wanting to go for the win like they are, that's all we can ask for. Myself, I'm so confident that one of the two of us are going to win that 600 next weekend, it was a good meeting. Kyle (Busch) was fiery at the beginning, but calmed right down at the end. I think it's just kind of his personality and me, I'm a little more reserved and kind of quiet about it. I think it's just two teammates that happen to be teammates going for a race win right there."
What are your thoughts on Kyle Busch's comments about you on the team radio? "Somebody better keep me away from Denny Hamlin after this ... race,'' Busch screamed. "I swear to God, I'm going to kill that (expletive deleted). All his (expletive deleted) fault! I had this race won! It was won!'' "That's Kyle in the moment and he's said worse things about me for sure at other times. I told him my job as the leader is to do everything I can to win that race. This race in specific is a much different beast than what a points race is and I think he understands that. From my standpoint, we're going to drive each other different, no doubt about it. We've seen it in years past, guys suck each other around, guys running each other up the race track, but I felt like if Kyle had position on the outside, then I definitely should have given him the lane. I just basically took the air off and like he said, he was just dumb and didn't check up. It's just one of those things. The air is so important that if you've got the lead then it's extremely hard for anyone to get around you and we just flat over-adjusted our race car and we got it way off right there. I felt like if we couldn't get the win, then I probably should have just moved over and let him go because it looked like he had a race winning car. That is the only thing I fault myself is not understanding my race car that time."
How will you and Kyle Busch move forward from this? "We don't need to let it affect these team guys. They work with each other inside the race shop and the important thing for me is that everyone gets along. Right now, everything is going good between the 11 and the 18 (Kyle Busch) on the race track, we're both battling for race wins each and every week. This is like the fifth of sixth time that we've been beside each other with less than 10 (laps) to go and this is not going to be the last time. What's good is that we have an understanding of how we race each other. One thing that we do realize too is this individual race here is a different beast so the racing of each other is always going to be a little different."
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