Stewart says he's talked to Busch
Stewart said he spoke to Busch on Tuesday and that the two NASCAR stars were on the "same page" following the accident that sent Busch to the infield care center and Stewart to Victory Lane in the final moments of the 400-mile race on Saturday night.
Busch took the lead on the next-to-last lap and tried to fend off a hard-charging Stewart. He successfully blocked Stewart once, but when he tried to do it again Stewart hooked Busch's right rear fender instead, sending Busch into the wall a few hundred yards from the finish.
Stewart, the points leader heading into this week's race in Chicago, said it was important to clear the air with Busch as quickly as possible.
"When something like that happens, you want to make sure that both guys are on the same page with what happened and we definitely were," Stewart said. "I mean, there was no question on either one of our parts of what happened."
Stewart knew Busch -- one of the circuit's most talented drivers -- would do everything he could to hold on for the win.
"Nobody in his position would have just stayed there and let somebody drive back by him," Stewart said. "You've got to do something, and he wasn't trying to wreck us, he was just trying to make me slow down."
Busch, who skidded across the finish line in 14th, has not spoken publicly since the wreck.
Stewart downplayed the significance of the crash, saying endings like that have been a part of racing at superspeedways for decades.
It marked the second time a crash has marred the end of a restrictor plate race this season. Carl Edwards went flying into the catch fence at Talladega this spring while trying to block Brad Keselowski in a mad dash to the finish.
"There's just so many instances and cases where that's happened in the past," Stewart said. "It's really no different than what we've got going on other than the fact that instead of two cars being involved, now we have 32 cars in the pack. That's the only variable that's changed."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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