Busch: Hit from Harvick in New Hampshire NASCAR race 'fair game'
|By Tom Errington||Monday, July 23rd 2018, 12:01 GMT|
Kyle Busch believes Kevin Harvick's New Hampshire NASCAR Cup race-winning pass with repeated contact was "fair game" and a consequence of his own forceful move on Kyle Larson at Chicagoland.
Busch, who felt he had a "horrible" race on Sunday, moved into the lead late on when he jumped Harvick coming out of the pits following a caution caused by Harvick's Stewart-Haas Racing team-mate Clint Bowyer crashing.
Lapped traffic meant Busch was reeled back in towards second-placed Harvick, who began to tap Busch's rear bumper repeatedly.
With seven laps to go, a more forceful hit pushed Busch off the racing groove and towards the outside wall as Harvick eased clear to win ahead of the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Busch suggested he had invited that contact with the way he had moved Larson aside to win at Chicagoland earlier this month.
"You know, it's racing," said Busch. "We had a really, really poor performance. All those SHR cars were really, really good.
"They were all fast, so it was going to be hard to hold them off and I was just kind of backing up three, four, five corners in a row.
"With a faster car, I'm not sure he had to do it [make contact], but he did. It's fine. How you race is how you get raced.
"He did that because of Chicago. He had a fair game. Everybody has a fair game on Kyle Busch - that's for sure when it comes to the fan base so that's fine.
"That's how they want to race, that's how I'll race back, but it was just a bump. It wasn't a big deal.
"He didn't wreck me or anything like that, so he did it early enough, but he did it way harder [than needed] and pushed me out of the groove.
"It just takes you so long to recover here that it was just no possible way I could get back to him and I was slower anyway.
"I was in the way, so no harm, no foul."
Harvick also compared his move on Busch to the Chicago pass.
"I just didn't know if I was going to get there at the end and I felt like that was my best opportunity to win," he said.
"I didn't want to wreck him, but I didn't want to waste a bunch of time behind him. It's not like I wrecked him.
"It's the same thing as Chicago."