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1 Total Update since October 4, 2012
8 months ago Update 10 comments
A day after Toyota Racing Development president Lee White said his organization was offended and hurt by Kyle Busch's radio rant at Dover, the driver issued a statement of apology via Joe Gibbs Racing.
"I made some remarks out of frustration on my radio at the end of last weekend's race in Dover that were very misguided," Busch said. "I owe my friends at Toyota and TRD an apology. We have a great partnership with TRD and they built me a motor that helped me lead over 300 laps and nearly lap the field. It's just frustrating that the caution fell where it did and suddenly it became a fuel mileage race and we were set up for maximum horsepower. Obviously, that worked well for most of the day and you can't control when the cautions will fall.
"I think we have a great partnership with TRD and we will continue to communicate with them on what our team is looking for. I'm looking forward to getting down to Talladega this weekend and focusing on the race."
Busch was angry because his TRD engine didn't get the same fuel mileage as some of his competitors, and an extra pit stop cost him a race he had dominated. The No. 18 car also suffered back-to-back engine failures in June, which ultimately doomed Busch's Chase hopes.
After the race, Busch came over the team radio and said, "Thank you, TRD. Fucked us out of another one. Piece of shit, mother fuckers."
White told the Charlotte Observer he and TRD were stung by the remarks.
"We're extremely disappointed in his negative comments and the tone of the comments after the event," White said. "It is under discussion as we move forward. We certainly are very disappointed; having said that, Kyle is an amazing talent in a race car and he takes it very personally when something goes wrong and he loses a race he thinks he should have won."
On Thursday, White released a statement reiterating his disappointment but said TRD was "ready to put this behind us and move forward with the remainder of the season."
Additionally, Toyota vice president of marketing communications and motorsports Ed Laukes said the company remained committed to Busch and called him "a very important part of the Toyota brand." Laukes said he looked forward to a "long-term relationship" with Busch for years to come.
In the same statement, team owner Joe Gibbs said he could understand Busch's frustration because of how the season has gone. However, he added, the driver's comments and tone were "misguided."
"We've been able to work through this issue and I think everyone is ready to get back to the focus being on racing and Talladega," Gibbs said.