Kyle Busch has apologized to Toyota for his criticism of the Japanese manufacturers' engines during last weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver made some strong remarks on his radio following the conclusion of last Sunday's event, where he was forced to make an extra stop for fuel with 11 laps to go, having dominated the event and leading 302 of 400 scheduled laps.
Busch, who narrowly missed the Chase this year, eventually finished seventh and a lap behind winner Brad Keselowski, who stretched his fuel mileage further than his rivals to claim his second victory during the playoffs.
"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 in a statement. "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," he added. "I'm looking forward to getting down to Talladega this weekend and focusing on the race."
Denny Hamlin, JGR's sole title contender this year, was running second to Busch when he pitted but he also had to make an extra stop for fuel and finished eighth. He too voiced his frustration at the fuel-mileage finish.
Besides his Cup commitments with Toyota, Busch also runs teams for the manufacturer in both the Nationwide and Truck Series.
Toyota Racing Development's Lee White accepted the public apology from Busch and although he admitted that engine issues have hampered the JGR driver's season he said his company was disappointed with his remarks.
"We understand Kyle's passion for racing - and winning," said White. "At TRD and Toyota, we have that same zeal for racing – and winning. We were disappointed with Kyle's post-race comments from Dover – a race that he dominated.
"Kyle's had a frustrating year with several car and engine mechanical failures which were not his responsibility, and we're working extremely hard on our end to improve our products and processes. We will continue to address these issues, but we're ready to put this behind us and move forward with the remainder of the season, including the Toyota drivers battling for the championship."