Busch: Ready to 'move on'

Updated: July 24, 2009, 11:16 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- Kurt Busch is ready to put any issues he has with three-time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson in his rearview mirror.

Busch said he and Johnson will talk on Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and "move on.''

"Not at all,'' he said when asked if he was worried about any repercussions.

Busch was upset over an incident that occurred with 15 laps remaining two weeks ago at Chicagoland Speedway when he, Johnson and Jeff Gordon went three wide into a turn. Johnson got loose and forced Busch into the wall.

Busch responded by slamming his car into the side of Johnson's twice. Johnson said the incident was unintentional. Busch didn't agree, referring to last month's race in Sonoma, Calif., in which Johnson got into the back of him.

"I'm starting to lose faith in his ability to be a three-time champion on the track,'' said Busch, who had to pit to fix a tire rub at Chicagoland and finished 17th. "I'm disappointed. I gave him room and we got pounded into the fence.''

Johnson said there was no reason to question him as a champion.

"I work really hard to have respect from all guys on the track,'' he said. "I take full and total blame for Sears Point [Sonoma]. The funny thing is at Sears Point I walk up to him to apologize and take the blame, he sees me in an interview and kind of backs off his tone and how mad he is at me.

"As I start talking to him he was really chill about it, [saying] 'Nah, I should have let you go. It was my fault.' I'm, 'Nah, don't give me that. I take responsibility. I put us in that position. I know it was my fault.'''

Busch declined to discuss the matter during a tire test at Atlanta three days after the Chicagoland incident. He did not respond to a text message Johnson sent following the race.

"It's not uncommon to not hear back,'' Johnson said. "I don't think a lot of people like talking about it. They would rather bury it and save it for another moment where they can settle the score.

"It can continue on or end. We'll find out.''

Busch, however, said Friday he simply hasn't had a chance to respond to the text message from Johnson due to a busy schedule.

"I did get a text message and again that was the night of [the race] and I was at the Chicago Cubs game the next day, tire testing, [and we] went to the Outer Banks and didn't have any cell phone service so I don't know how much I really need to explain," Busch said.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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