Kurt Busch and new Penske teammate Brad Keselowski have settled their differences over their run-in last weekend at Talladega, which left both drivers and a number of others involved in a multi-car crash that brought the race to an end.
Busch reportedly had some less than complimentary words for Keselowski while talking to his team on the radio last weekend at Talladega, after his new teammate bumped him into a spin on the penultimate lap, causing a major wreck that involved at least 13 cars.
This weekend, Keselowski will race for Penske for the first time at Texas Motor Speedway, driving the No. 12 car, replacing David Stremme, after competing for Phoenix Racing and Hendrick Motorsports during the season. Busch says that they have settled things over the incident after flying together to this week's tire test at Daytona.
"I feel like any time that you get wrecked and hit your head hard at 200mph, is probably not the best time to listen to what a guy is saying," Busch said. "Things that are said on the radio need to be brushed off and taken for what they're worth, because I was at Daytona on Monday, put my arm around Brad, and he flew with me in my own plane down to Daytona and we talked about things.
"I joked with him. I said, 'Hey we've got five people in this plane, we've got four parachutes, where's yours?' You know? We're all in this together and a new guy coming in, I've seen it plenty of times, where he's driving hard, he's aggressive and he'll find his niche and he'll find his spot in the sport."
Keselowski said Busch was not angry with him when they talked about the incident, which he suggested was triggered by Brian Vickers crashing into the back of him and sending him into Busch while running in the top 10. "You know it was fine," said Keselowski. "I think Kurt saw it for what it was, a teammate trying to help him and I got hit from behind. The 83 [Vickers] got in the back of me and it was not really his fault, it was Talladega circumstances.
"I made the move that took us all to get a good finish and it really just didn't work. Obviously he was disappointed for his result, for his finish, but as far as him really being mad at me and thinking that I ruined his day intentionally or whatever, no. He was really cool."
Busch looks forward to Keselowski helping the team move forward and believes his early arrival will help him hit the ground running in 2010. "It's a big step as things develop for 2010," Busch said. "I always want the program to get stronger and Brad's going to do that for us. And what better way to get him seat time in our cars and a feel? That way he's got all winter to digest it and feel the differences between the Hendrick cars that he's driven, and what we have."