Kyle Busch shouldered the blame for the contact between he and Chase Elliott at the end of Wednesday night’s race at Darlington Raceway.
Busch spun Elliott going down the frontstretch with 28 laps to go after tagging Elliott in the left rear quarter-panel. Elliott climbed from his car and gave Busch the middle finger as Busch drove by a lap later under caution. The arrival of rain shortly afterward meant that was the final caution of the night, leaving Busch to be classified second. He spoke with Elliott’s crew chief, Alan Gustafson, who was waiting for him on pit road afterward.
“Obviously, I just made a mistake, misjudged the gap, sent him into the wall,” said Busch. “That was entirely unintentional. I’ll definitely reach out to him and tell him I’m sorry, tell him I hate that it happened. [That’s] All I can do. That doesn’t change the outcome of the night. I hate it for him and his guys.”
Busch and Elliott were battling for the second position behind Denny Hamlin. Hamlin was on older tires when the race restarted with 29 laps to go, and the pair quickly charged to the second and third positions and were not far behind Hamlin when the accident occurred.
Elliott finished 38th after leading 28 laps earlier in the night. Gustafson told Fox Sports that speaking with Busch did not calm the waters.
“Ultimately he made a mistake, and I get it, and I don’t think he intentionally wrecked us, but you just get tired of coming out on the wrong end of those deals too often,” he said. “I certainly feel like we were in position to win that race, and Denny was in trouble on old tires, and we were going to clear Kyle, obviously.
“So, no, you get tired of getting run over like that. (Busch’s) explanation, I’m sure, is accurate, but it doesn’t change that all these guys have worked their tails off on this Chevy, and they deserved to win the race.”