Spencer Busch Still Feudin?

Kurt Busch and Jimmy Spencer both say their “feud” from last Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway is over.

But neither driver can stop himself from being outspoken about their run-in in the closing laps of the Food City 500, when Busch nudged Spencer from behind, which got Spencer loose and enabled Busch to pass and go on to his first career victory.

Spencer was hopping mad after the race, saying there could be payback. Busch was unapologetic, saying it was just racing.

They haven’t really budged from their statements. Instead, the heat seems to be turned up a bit.

“I’m hearing stuff that Kurt’s saying I’m going to spin him out next week,” Spencer said earlier this week. “Well, I’m glad that he’s worried. I think he did me wrong, but for me to go out and retaliate would be totally wrong. I don’t know what he’s talking about at Phoenix. Somebody told me that he said I spun him out at Phoenix.

“I think it’s a very guilty conscience. I look at it as I’m glad he’s guilty of it because he was wrong. But next week at Texas, I plan on racing for a top-10 finish. I feel like we’re going to be more situations to win some races this year.”

Guilty conscience? Not really, Busch said.

“He likes to be the tough, “Intimidator” type since we don’t have that role model anymore,” Busch said. “Mr. Excitement feels as if he can’t do any wrong. It’s like when some gets a foul in college basketball when it’s not really a foul. They have to play it up, lie on the floor and get knocked over.

“It’s just blowing things out of proportion, I believe. This was a harmless, little racing incident, at Bristol Motor Speedway of all places, where two guys – one who hadn’t won in eight years and one going for his first win – were out front with less than 100 laps to go. A little bump here, a little bump there, somebody wins and somebody finishes second.

“If you ask me, it was pretty exciting for the fans. It was a good statement for Kurt Busch to actually spin him out and wreck him when that’s what happened to me a year ago (at Phoenix). I just thought it all ended up in everybody’s good favor. When you can race somebody, and you can finish second after contact, he should be fortunate.”

Spencer probably doesn’t consider himself fortunate to be knocked out of the way, especially by a guy he doesn’t seem to respect.

“I’m not worried about one driver, especially a guy like Kurt who hasn’t really proven himself yet,” Spencer said. “I would worry if a guy like Jeff Gordon or Tony Stewart came up and said, ‘What the hell you hitting me for?’ We race them, and we don’t have any problems with those guys, and those are the guys you have to race every week.”

If that sounds like a knock, so be it. But Busch understands he’s still young and relatively unproven.

“For me, the 97 isn’t a pronounced number to be running up front every week,” Busch said. “My goal is to change that around and to develop it into a great Roush Racing race car that can go out there and compete each week like Jeff Burton and Mark Martin or Matt Kenseth.

“There’s always work to do to be the best of the best. Obviously, we’ve had a great start this year. We’re fifth right now (in the points), we’ve got a win and Kenseth’s won at Rockingham. So far we’ve (Roush Racing) won a third of the races. That’s a pretty strong statement. We’re just going to continue our ways.”

And if that means bumping into Spencer – or any driver – to get a victory, that’s likely how Busch will play it.

Still, both drivers said the Bristol incident was over and done. But they didn’t sound convincing.

“Oh, God, yes, to me it is,” Spencer said. “Somebody played a thing he said about me on some show, and I said, ‘I don’t really care.’ They said, ‘We wanted you to hear it.’ That stuff doesn’t bother me because it goes to show you that he knows he made a mistake and now he’s trying to rectify the mistake by just saying, ‘I’m sorry for what I did.’ That hurts a driver and it hurts a race team because they lose a lot of respect in the garage area by just not admitting they made a mistake, and go on about it.

“He better just go on about and not worry because the more he harps on it, the more it’s going to make himself look that much worse to the fans.”

Busch went so far as to say Spencer didn’t consider the case closed.

“That’s the way that Kurt Busch will approach it,” Busch said. “Jimmy Spencer won’t approach it that way. We’ll see how racing continues between us. It’s just like any other racer out there between the 8 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) and the 31 (Robby Gordon) or the 31 and everybody or the 29 (Kevin Harvick). You never know. For us, we’re just going to continue to race and build up points and be the steady-Eddie kind of guy that’s there week in and week out and put ourselves in position to win again.”

And if Spencer gets in the way, look out.

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