Kurt Busch took his turn at the Watkins Glen media center podium on Saturday morning and had a chance to respond to Jimmie Johnson's harsh comments about Busch on Friday.
The back-and-forth between the drivers was more fallout from an incident at Pocono between Busch and Johnson. Busch defended his on-track actions and said he was "putting the 'r' (as in 'rubbing') back in racing."
Here are Busch's comments:
Any response to what Jimmie Johnson said on Friday?
When you said Jimmie was in here, I didn't know if you meant Spencer or Johnson (smiles). It's one of those emotions points that boils over, and I felt like the way we raced each other on the track is what champions need to do. And that is to bring the cars home where they were running on track – third and fourth is where we were, and that's where we crossed the line at the start/finish line.
Where we raced each other with a juke and a jive and rubbing, that's racing. I was caught up in it this week, just following it. I talked to my dad about things, and my dad was like, 'Well, that's rubbin'. That's racin', son. That's how it works.'
He's the one that taught me a lot about racing and everything I've done in racing is to try to make him proud, and he's like, 'Rubbin' is racin'.'
I'm putting the 'r' back in 'racing.' Rubbing is racing.
How do you define the line for 'rubbing is racing' with Johnson?
For me, I think the line was when he swerved at us. I guess yesterday he said he was trying to break the draft. That's not a move of a five-time champion, that's the move of a guy that has had an issue with a guy like me.
We've raced each other hard, and I've been spun out and wrecked a few times. And we both know we look at each other very sternly. And that's great competition.
So that blends into 'rubbing is racing.' When you have a history with a guy, you don't just forget about it. I learned from one of the greats on how to keep a memory of who does you right and who does you wrong, and that was Jimmy Spencer. He taught me a lot.
What are your reactions to the way Johnson called you out?
That's great. It means I'm in his head, and if I'm in his head, then he's got to worry about us running through this Chase.
I've been through enough issues in my past to know where I need to be.
More on Johnson's reaction:
He was real amped up, and he felt like I did him wrong. To me, the response from people this week and our different race fans, they're like, 'That was exciting. That's what we want to see. That's the intensity and the passion our sport is built off of.'
This is a bunch of guys racing stock cars in the southeast. This isn't open-wheel racing where we're supposed to pass each other clean and be out front and leading by 10 seconds.