NASCAR parks Kurt Busch for aggressive driving

Updated: June 4, 2007, 7:32 PM ET
By Angelique S. Chengelis | ESPN.com

Two-time Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart referred to Kurt Busch as a "bad apple" after the two drivers made contact Monday on Lap 271 of the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

Busch finished 42nd and was parked by NASCAR for aggressive driving and could not even attempt to return to the race after the incident.

I have no idea, but I know he hit us so many times today. Mission accomplished, Tony. We're all confused by Tony's driving.

Kurt Busch

"He's raced us now every lap like it pays a million dollars," said Stewart, who finished 40th. "I kind of adopted Matt Kenseth's policy of racing guys the same way he raced me. He was never clear, and he came off the corner and crashed both of us.

"I've never tried to wreck him, and I've had plenty of chances to try to wreck the guy. That's not what it was about. It's about racing people with respect, and he hasn't done that with anybody for a year. You finally get to the point you're tired of giving guys positions. Most of the guys are pretty good. There are only a couple bad apples out there, and he's one of them.

"When you've got guys that you let them go every time they get to you, and they don't do the same thing when the roles are reversed, you finally get tired of it. You finally learn to race those guys the way they race you. It's Busch and a few others who do that."

Busch said that Stewart was the one who didn't give any room.

"I raced the guy all day long, and he didn't give an inch," Busch said. "We raced 15 laps side-by-side, and that's flat-out. My car was inching on him and inching on him, and he hit me on a couple other restarts. I don't know what he was all about today. I have no idea what Tony Stewart had for us today. He finally wrecked me. He got accomplished what he wanted to do. I'm still very confused by it.

"I thought I had about 90 percent of [the] car past him, and he finally wrecked us. I have no idea, but I know he hit us so many times today. Mission accomplished, Tony. We're all confused by Tony's driving."

DEI alive and kicking
Martin Truex Jr.'s victory Monday gave Dale Earnhardt Inc. back some of the credibility it might have lost when Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced last month that he would depart from the team.

"[Reports] of our death have been greatly exaggerated," DEI technical director Steve Hmiel said, borrowing from Mark Twain.

"People need to understand there are 400 people who are racing their tails off, and we're doing the best we can every day. We've had some slings and arrows thrown at us, and we understand where we're short, but we weren't short today.

"This is a sign to all the guys back home that they're part of a worthwhile company that is moving forward and has the ability to win races, and we're not going to quit regardless of the situation we're put in by other people."

Quotable
Stewart on whether he could see himself driving a Toyota next year (there have been reports that Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing, for which Stewart drives, have had conversations): "I'm not even worried about that right now. I've got 400 other things to worry about right now."

Angelique S. Chengelis is a contributor to ESPN's NASCAR coverage.

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