A ‘big boy’ controversy: Kyle Busch apologizes for ‘r-word’ rant at Brad Keselowski

Sunday night in Martinsville, race winner Brad Keselowski was aggressively banging against Kyle Busch’s car and began to move toward him as Busch made a series of attempts to push Keselowski back. Busch had…

A ‘big boy’ controversy: Kyle Busch apologizes for ‘r-word’ rant at Brad Keselowski

Sunday night in Martinsville, race winner Brad Keselowski was aggressively banging against Kyle Busch’s car and began to move toward him as Busch made a series of attempts to push Keselowski back. Busch had no choice but to angrily throw his hands into the air and call Keselowski the “r-word.” He was soon taken to the rear of the car and spent the night in the infield care center.

While Busch was reprimanded for his language by his NASCAR boss, he posted a personal apology to the NASCAR website, and in it, called himself a “big boy” and said that he “didn’t realize how emotional I was.”

“I just wanted to get a piece of the action — a little bit of the ‘big boy stuff,’ if you will,” Busch wrote. “That’s all. I was just feeling out who was in the biggest hurry and trying to turn into him.

“This is part of what being a racier sport is all about. You have to be in the right mindset and understand where the other guy is coming from. You need to understand that mentality. But I was in a full blast, a mindset of trying to turn the guy back into the front of the track.

“I’m not trying to demonize Brad and say he wasn’t acting the way he was, but that’s my mindset. It just got the best of me and I let my emotions get to me. I hope my words didn’t come across the wrong way.”

Busch also praised Keselowski and said “I want to be the best friend and partner Brad is” and want them to be teammates.

“I wish I could have the conversation with him and just clear things up,” Busch added. “It has come back to bite me — karma.”

NASCAR doesn’t like the word “r-word,” but no one in NASCAR has spoken out against Busch for this. It’s almost as if NASCAR likes the colorful drivers but would like to keep them in line. And that includes its CEO and vice chairman, Brian France. The fact that Busch wrote a full mea culpa for his language is likely a factor in NASCAR’s decision not to penalize him any further — a point of emphasis to make sure the “r-word” has no place in NASCAR.

Busch made a few references to how Keselowski keeps his race face, which was something Busch attributed to his mother. She may have helped him get to where he is today, but does that make her the race driver of her era? This is the raciest and most off-color incident in NASCAR history, and the term isn’t even as strong as the one Busch used to describe his former girlfriend, Ellen Mendillo. That’s how Busch will be remembered, if he remains in NASCAR.

When he passed Keselowski at the Martinsville track, he and his car boss had to be restrained by NASCAR officials. Keselowski’s team and crew chief were involved in a brawl with NASCAR officials. It’s not over.

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