Jeff Burton has criticized Kyle Busch for being too aggressive with him, following contact between the two in the final restart of Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Charlotte.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver hit the left-rear of Burton's car when the green flag waved for the final time in the 600-mile race, where both Busch and the Richard Childress Racing driver fought for a top-five finish. The contact cut a tire on Burton's car, making him furious with Busch as he would only manage a 25th place in the end. He confronted the 25-year-old when the race finished and team personnel and officials had to split the pair as Burton accused Busch repeatedly.
"The last restart, Kyle [Busch] made it three-wide on the restart because the guys on the bottom didn't have tires and he trying to make something happen, which I don't have a problem with," Burton explained. "So he run into me and cuts my left-rear tire, then I have a problem with it. He's real aggressive. That's cool. But when he starts affecting me with his aggressiveness, I just will not put up with it. I've been around here long enough. I just will not tolerate it."
Busch for his part said he simply raced Burton the way he does anybody else and stated that his veteran rival is going against his own predicament about being respectful of fellow drivers.
"He [Burton] said I didn't race him very nicely," said Busch. "He said I ran into him and I don't know what I could have done to have made that work without touching. His teammate, the 33 [Clint Bowyer] made me three-wide getting into [turn] One. I held it as tight as I could on the 33 trying to stay off the 31 [Burton]. I guess all that nice respect stuff that he talked about earlier this week is out the window. I guess that's how I race everybody."
Last week, Burton had said he enjoyed racing with Busch although he did state he saw him as a very aggressive driver who usually puts himself in risky situations that he's not always able to pull off while attempting a pass.
"Kyle, in my view, has never been a guy that wrecks other people," he said last Thursday. "Honestly, he puts himself in some situations where you're thinking, 'I don't know if he's going to come out of that.'
"On restarts he's real aggressive, but I've never felt that Kyle was a guy that I looked at and said, 'That dude takes a lot of people out.' There's been a lot of guys that came in trying to be aggressive that have been taking more people out than Kyle ever did in my opinion. I really like racing with Kyle."
Busch was able finish the race third after recovering from a pit incident with Penske's Brad Keselowski and a speeding penalty following that. Burton ran as high as third, but the contact on the final restart hampered his chances of a strong finish.