Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway was a classic from start to finish. Kevin Harvick stood in Victory Lane at evening’s end, headlining a victory podium that included brothers Austin and Ty Dillon. Championship contenders rose and fell throughout the evening, and there was enough late-race drama to keep fans on the edge of their seats all the way to the checkered flag.
None of that will be talked about today.
“I got a little loose and got into him,” admitted an incensed Hornaday afterward. “It was a racing deal. That crap he pulled down there… (was) just ignorant and stupid. If they don’t park him on Sunday, I’ll be really upset.”
Busch placed the blame squarely on Hornaday, saying that as a title contender, he should have known better than to race three-wide so early in the race. “If you consider that Ron was in the championship (picture), maybe he could have played it a little bit smarter… checked up a little and given room to everybody around. There’s not three lanes out there right now. It’s the first race… of the weekend. If I just lay over and give up everything for Ron Hornaday, that’s not Kyle Busch’s fashion. I’m out here to win a race just as much as anybody else.
“When he raced up on my inside and got loose and took me up to the fence, I ended up losing my cool,” admitted Busch. “I’ve been wrecked four weeks in a row and finally I just had enough of it. No doubt about it, I retaliated. It’s certainly my fault for doing that”
Hornaday said he will not rely on NASCAR to sanction Busch, preferring instead to take matters into his own hands. “He’s such a candy-ass, he won’t stay around to get a whooping like he’s supposed to get,” said the four-time Truck Series champion. “We'll see what NASCAR does. If they don't handle it right, I'll be at his house Monday morning.”
NASCAR’s “Boys Have At It” policy is based on one simple premise; that drivers are capable of policing their own conduct on the race track. There are several examples in the last two seasons of them doing exactly that.
Last season, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski feuded openly for weeks, tearing up a number of race cars and trading barbs in the media. The conflict came to a head in March at Atlanta Motor Speedway, when Edwards hooked his rival into the wall, overturning Keselowski’s Dodge and triggering one of the most violent wrecks in the track’s history. Since then, Edwards and Keselowski have raced together without incident, running door-to-door in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup ranks without so much as a wrinkled fender.
In October of last year, Busch found himself on the receiving end of the “Boys Have At It” rule after dumping David Reutimann early in a race at Kansas Speedway. Roughly 100 laps later, Reutimann returned the favor, stapling Busch to the Turn Two wall, ruining an almost-certain Top-10 finish and dropping the Joe Gibbs Racing driver from third to seventh in the championship standings. Busch has not messed with Reutimann since.
It can be argued that NASCAR’s hands-off approach to policing on-track indiscretions is to blame for last night’s carnage in the Lone Star State. It can also be argued that the “Boys Have At It” system works well, but that Kyle Busch is simply a slow learner.
Hopefully, they’ll do so on a track more suited to paybacks than Texas. But in the end, the choice will be theirs and theirs alone. Until then, Busch can only wonder when (and if) the rent will come due for “losing his cool” last night at Texas Motor Speedway.
It’s like they say: If you screw with the bull, you’ll get “The Horn.”