SPARTA, Kentucky — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. said he did not reach out to Kyle Busch after wrecking him last weekend at Daytona International Jr. because Busch “ran his mouth enough on the radio and then after the race.”
Busch said earlier Friday that he was “disappointed” that Stenhouse had not reached out to him about the accident.
Asked if he would race Stenhouse differently, Busch said: “I can’t worry about people that far back in the field.”
Stenhouse walked over to Busch’s car after the second round of qualifying Friday. Stenhouse leaned into the car and had a message for Busch.
“I told him that, I was like, ‘Hey, you’re right, you do run a lot further up front, but pick and choose your battles wisely because you will have to deal with me sometime whether you are lapping me or we get our cars better and we are up there racing with you,’” Stenhouse said. “So I told him if you want to keep running his mouth, he can come over and do it around me and I’ll stop it for him myself.”
“He said he had things to do,” Stenhouse said. “He plugged his radio back in. I told him he can keep coming over and running his mouth. He kind of stopped after that. I don’t know what his thought is. I just told him what my thought was and the reason why I didn’t reach out to him.”
Busch had to get ready for the final round of qualifying. Busch went on to qualify fifth. Stenhouse will start 14th in Saturday night’s race (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).
Stenhouse said he intended to contact Busch but then heard Busch’s expletive-laden comments on the radio about Stenhouse.
“He’s such a (expletive),” Busch said on his radio after the crash. “What a (expletive) waste of space.”
Stenhouse said he typically reaches out to drivers when he has incidents with them.
“I’ve crashed people, I’ve crashed myself and I’ve always reached out to people that I made contact with,” Stenhouse said. “Jimmie (Johnson), him and I have talked about things. We’ve had a few run-ins this year, not really running into each other but racing each other hard. We talk about it and move on. Austin Dillon and I have raced each other hard and we’ve talked about it. I don’t mind talking to people.
“But people that just run their mouth all their time, I don’t feel like I need to go talk to them.”