David Reutimann defends Kansas wreck

10/5/2010 - NASCAR David Reutimann Kyle Busch + more

MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- David Reutimann said he was backed into a corner and had to stand up for himself when he intentionally wrecked Kyle Busch at Kansas Speedway.

Reutimann hit Busch in Sunday's race as retaliation for earlier contact between the two. Busch, a championship contender, was running seventh when Reutimann wrecked him and ended up finishing 21st.

It cost him significantly in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship standings, as Busch dropped from third to seventh.

But how it affected Busch was not in Reutimann's thought process. He had strong runs spoiled in three of the last four races and felt like he had to send a message that drivers can't run him over.

"You know if you go and run over Tony Stewart, he's not going to let that slide. You go out there and you run over the 42 car of Juan Pablo Montoya, he's not going to let it slide," Reutimann said Tuesday during an appearance at Martinsville Speedway.

"How often do you see those guys get run over? Never. Not ever. That's all I'm trying to say. It's all about respect. Sometimes you give it a lot more than you get. And sometimes you just have to do things to make people see that what was once deemed acceptable is no longer acceptable."

Reutimann is not one of the 12 drivers competing for the Sprint Cup championship. He's currently 18th in the standings but has had strong runs ruined over the last month.

He was running in the top six early at Richmond when contact with Kurt Busch caused him to spin. He was running 14th two weeks ago at Dover when Ryan Newman wrecked him, and he was wrecked by Kyle Busch on Sunday.

His retaliation has caused a commotion with manufacturer Toyota, which supports both drivers' teams. Toyota is trying to win its first Sprint Cup title this season, and Busch and Hamlin are its only eligible drivers.

It led Reutimann to admit he's "not very proud of the way things went down," but that he felt like he had to retaliate.

"It's a situation where things have gone far enough and you have to do a little something about it and ideally it's not what you'd like to do," he said. "Sometimes you don't have a choice."