Jeff Burton said Friday he's "over" the Coca-Cola 600 incident with Kyle Busch, but neither driver sounded as if they had changed the way they felt following the race, when Burton yelled at Busch on pit road.
Burton said he was no longer mad, but hadn't changed his perception of events from the late-race contact between the two which resulted in Busch cutting Burton's left-rear tire and spoiling the veteran's night.
"Kyle tried to make it three-wide and got in my left rear," Burton said. "He didn't mean to do it, he didn't set out to say, 'I'm going to cut the tire on the 31 car.' He was doing what he needed to do to pick up positions, and I have respect for that. But...he was just being aggressive and made a mistake."
By the time he woke up on Monday morning, Burton said he was no longer angry, but just wished Busch had given him "a little more respect." He said the drivers didn't have any personal issues and would return to racing each other cleanly on the track without further incident.
"I've got a 14-year-old daughter," Burton said. "I've got all the drama I need."
Busch, who had initially explained the incident by saying Clint Bowyer was the one who made it three-wide (something Burton continued to refute on Friday), didn't apologize but acknowledged he initiated the contact.
Earlier repairs to his car left a four-inch "tire spear" protruding from the splitter area, which Busch said he didn't know of.
"That's no excuse for what happened, just didn't know it was out there," he said. "...The piece on my car was wider than it should have been. You don't have all the knowings of what's going on around your car."
Busch said if he had been the one yelling at Burton, he would have been criticized for "childish antics." He also said people were quick to blame him for the incident.
"You know I don't get benefit of the doubt. Ever," he said. "So it's all my fault. Yeah, I apparently got into him and cut his tire down. He didn't cut his tire down on himself."
Burton said he lost his cool with Busch because of continued frustration at letting solid finishes slip away this season, which he called "my best shot to ever win a championship."
"This means a great deal to me," he said. "And because of that, because of my passion for it, every now and then I'll behave in a way I probably shouldn't. I crossed the line a little bit last week, but I don't regret it. I felt better."
He credited Busch for keeping his cool in a heated moment and said "It's hard when someone's in your face yelling at you."
Busch said he was "shocked" to see Burton appear on pit road and was initially confused about why Burton was so upset.
"It was like, 'Where'd this guy come from?'" Busch said. "It was just heat of the moment. We'll both move forward and go on with us behind this and try to race each other as much with dignity and respect as we have before."