The Monster Energy Cup Series took on the twists and turns that are Watkins Glen International Raceway and while Chase Elliott would eventually go on to win the whole thing, the race was not without its controversies
In fact, Kyle Busch, who finished in 11th place during Sunday’s race had dicey encounters with two of NASCAR’s rising stars. Unfortunately for the former Cup Series champion, these run-ins, along with a speeding penalty, would pretty much ensure he wouldn’t compete for the win.
The first incident occurred on lap two of the race when William Bryon and Kyle Busch were racing for position. Busch wheel hopped the corner a bit and ultimately spun out. Interestingly enough, however, he was able to climb back into fourth before running into Byron again.
This time, however, Busch choose to shove him out of the way and sent the young driver barreling through the grass. Byron responded a short time later by getting into the back of Busch’s car under caution, but he was quickly brake checked and tore up his front fender.
While the audio during the altercation wasn’t immediately available to fans, Frontstretch.com’s Tom Bowels’s posted on twitter that Chad Knaus actually threatened Byron after the incident. In fact, he even told him that they would have problems if he didn’t retaliate against Kyle Busch.
“If I see the 18 come back here without you knocking the f**k out of him, we’re going to have a problem,” Knaus said after the incident occurred late in the first stage. With that being said, however, Byron was brake checked during the retaliation and the resulting damage ruined his day.
This wasn’t the only problem on Sunday for Busch however, as he would also battle with Bubba Wallace Jr for multiple laps before being dumped by the young upstart. The crowd in attendance for Sunday’s race went wild after watching what had just unfolded and Wallace Jr pretty much cemented himself as a hero.
“He just ran me the f*ck over, that’s exactly what happened,” Wallace said post-race. “I don’t care if I’m two years in, rookie stripes or what, but I’m going to get my respect on the track and I don’t care who it is. That’s what guys fail to think about the young guys or with me. I won’t put up with no sh*t, so I flat out wrecked his ass. “
William Bryon and Chad Knaus declined to comment on their incident with Kyle Busch after the race, but car owner Rick Hendrick was around to give a statement to the media. He even went so far as to say that he would have done the same thing if that had been him!
“If you let guys push you around, you let them know that you’re not going to let that happen,” Hendrick said. “I think he got the worst end of the deal when Kyle brake-checked him and knocked the front end out of the car. Sometimes, in the heat of the battle you want to do things, and if you thought about it a little bit more you settle down and finish the race. In the heat of the battle, I didn’t know Chad (Knaus, crew chief) told him to [do that]. If I had a radio, I would have probably told him the same thing.”