Busch says feud with Johnson is good for NASCAR

DEAN McNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:52 AM ET

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - Jimmie Johnson may well be mad as hell at Kurt Busch after their confrontation last week at Pocono Raceway, but Busch said Saturday that he has a much different view on their clash.

Busch, who rubbed Johnson the wrong way when the two where side-by-side racing on the final lap at Pocono last week, said he sought out his father’s advice on what to do after Johnson angrily denounced his tactics this week.

“I talked to my dad about things and my dad was like: ‘Well, that’s rubbing; that’s racing, son. That’s how it works,’” Busch said.

And he said he would rather just listen to his dad than react further to Johnson’s taunts. But that doesn’t mean Busch thinks the feud with Johnson is now in the past.

“(My dad) is the one that taught me a lot about racing,” Busch said. “Everything that I’ve done in racing is to try and make him proud. He’s like, ‘it’s rubbing is racing.’ So I’m putting the “R” back in racing and rubbing is racing.”

In fact Busch said he thinks his dispute with the five-time Sprint Cup champion is good for the sport and that fans seem to agree with him.

He said it reminds him of racing the way it was when Dale Earnhardt and Rusty Wallace beat on one another on the track.

Busch said it certainly would add another dimension to the Chase for the Championship with both he and Johnson fighting for the trophy over the final 10 races.

“I’d love to see that atmosphere,” Busch said. “If we can perform well enough in the Chase and be in position to race Jimmie Johnson for the championship head-to-head, that would be wonderful.

“That’s great competition. That blends into rubbing is racing. When you have a history with a guy, you just don’t forget about it.”

Busch was anything but angry at Johnson for suggesting that Busch would not go toe-to-toe in their post-Pocono meeting. He said that the whole thing has just created more excitement in the whole Sprint Cup series

“The response that we got from different people this week and the race fans was they thought it was exciting and that’s what they wanted to see,” Busch said. “That’s the intensity and passion that our sport is built off of. This is a bunch of guys running stock cars. This isn’t open-wheel racing where we’re supposed to pass each other clean and be leading by 10 seconds.”

Finally Busch said if there was any benefit from the whole affair for him, it was that he has created a distraction for Johnson, and he thinks that is a good thing for him in trying to wrestle away the championship.

“It’s great,” he said. “It means that I’m in his head and if I’m in his head, he’s got to worry about us running through this Chase.”

In Saturday’s Nationwide ZIPPO 200 Busch and Johnson were only close a couple of times on the track and never close enough for contract of any kind.


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