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Kyle Busch breathes fire into NASCAR championship chase

By George Diaz Orlando Sentinel (MCT) • Dec 17, 2015 at 7:03 PM

The Busch Brothers are back, loud and locked into the Chase.

Business is good for NASCAR when these two are mixing it up with competitors, journalists and the occasional teammate.

Witness the testy exchange between Kyle Busch and his crew chief, Dave Rogers, during the Sprint Cup race Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“I need a whole new right front suspension, a whole new right front suspension,” Busch said over the radio. “I will be behind the wall in about two [expletive] laps.”

Rogers shot back: “Park it behind the truck and take your whiny little [expletive] to the bus.”

The two talked it out after the race, and emotions settled down before anyone considered taking it to the next level, like a Wrestlemania promotion.

“Kyle was trying to communicate to me what was wrong with the car. I couldn’t hear,” Rogers said after the race. “It just led to more frustration. We came back here to the truck and had a great talk. You look at things like this as a negative, and negatives create positives if you look at them the right way.

“We got to air things out and had a great talk. I think we’re going to be better going forward.”

Anyone who follows NASCAR knows the deal: Kyle is infamous for his occasional in-race meltdowns while older brother Kurt tends to get into trouble with his post-race spats.

In defense of both drivers, they’ve been on their best behavior this season. They’re in the lead pack of drivers who have qualified for the field of 16 in the Chase. Kyle is eighth in the Chase standings while Kurt is 11th, each with a victory.

Kurt, in particular, deserves an attaboy for his decorum, given his temperamental history. Kurt, aka “The Outlaw,” is in his first season at Stewart-Haas Racing after a season each with Phoenix Racing and Furniture Row Racing. He overachieved with Furniture Row, making the Chase despite the demanding dynamics of racing for a small-scale operation.

But Kurt put himself in that compromising position after he was bounced from the super-team power grid of Penske Racing following the 2011 season for his inability to play nice with others.

He’s been rock-solid this year on both fronts. That includes a fifth-place finish at Bristol.

“I’m worn out,” he said after the race. “I gave it all I had and raced hard for all that she would give me. It seemed like after every 50 laps our tires would drop off quite a bit. But man we rallied, rallied, rallied …”

Kyle has some serious work to do before he gets into the conversation of potential championship winners. He has finished 42nd, 40th, 39th and 36th in the last four races. He also has three DNFs in seven races. He’ll get bounced out of the playoffs in a hurry under the new format.

Yet the timing could not be better: Kyle won in Atlanta on Labor Day weekend a year ago after leading 36 laps en route to his 100th overall victory in a Toyota and his 24th Sprint Cup win with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Time for him and Mr. Rogers to make up and play nice.

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