Kurt Busch Doesn't Believe He Endangered Ryan Newman Crewmen At Darlington

Kurt Busch doesn't believe he endangered any of Ryan Newman's crew members on pit road during last week's incident at Darlington Raceway – which resulted in a $50,000 fine from NASCAR – and the driver insisted he hit Newman's car on accident after the race.

Those revelations were part of an eight-minute media session with a large group of reporters at his team's hauler, an interview that ended with Busch becoming agitated.

Busch, speaking before All-Star Race practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway, said he did a burnout through Newman's pit stall because he was trying to beat the pace car off pit road and stay on the lead lap.

"Newman left his pit stall a good 10 seconds before I did, and I didn't think there was any reason to think crew guys were in danger," he said. "One guy has a problem with it, and it escalated from there."

Prior to a postrace confrontation with Newman's gas man, Busch hit Newman's car on pit road after the race. The driver insisted it the contact was an accident that occurred when Busch was taking off his helmet.

Newman, though, told SI.com that Busch "blew a fuse" and had a "chemical imbalance."

"Newman said he thought that was a lie, but that's the honest truth," Busch said. "And Newman and I were friends. We were great teammates (at Penske Racing) and he needs to check his trophy case on that Daytona 500 trophy that I helped him get years ago.

"We've always been great friends and there was no need for his comments afterward."

Busch acknowledged both he and Newman are "looking at the same scenario coming up here in these next few summer months" in terms of having to sign new contracts for next year. But when asked whether Newman was perhaps making comments to hurt Busch's free agency prospects, Busch wouldn't answer.

"This is good for our sport," he said unconvincingly. "This is WWE-type action."

Busch did not apologize to Newman's pit crew during his media availability, but he did say, "I apologize to NASCAR for them to have to make a decision on penalizing me."

The driver noted he's been "fined probably the most out of any driver," but said he always pays the fines out of his own pocket.

"I'll move on," he said. "Is my strike zone bigger than others? Yeah, it might be a little bigger than others, but I don't have a problem with it."

Busch said he observed the Darlington fans cheered louder for the pit road confrontation after the race than they did when Jimmie Johnson actually won the event, which told him NASCAR fans are just all about the show.

"That's when the crowd reacted the most, so you tell me if they're wanting WWE," he said.

At that point, the sarcasm bubbling inside of Busch got the better of him and came to the surface.

"This is fun," he said. "This is entertainment, right, guys? This is why you guys are all here suffocating me at the back of this hauler."

And with that, he ended the interview and walked inside the door to his transporter.

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