Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell talk out Austin NASCAR incident

Rowdy is going to race Bell harder until the message lands

Christopher Bell called Kyle Busch on Monday to discuss the contact between them that sent the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion around on Sunday at Circuit of the Americas.

At first, Busch didn’t pick up but called Bell back a little bit later and they more or less hashed it out.

“I was surprised that he called me back,” Bell said on Saturday at Richmond Raceway. “I called him on Monday, and he didn’t answer. I thought that was going to be the end of it. I was really happy that he called me back and we had a conversation. It was a good conversation. We don’t have a lot of run-ins, but the two times we’ve had a run-in, he’s been on the losing side of it. I’ll just race him with respect as I always try to. It is what it is.”

Busch said he wanted to be clearer about what his frustrations were, the incident that very well could have cost him a chance at a top-5 before rallying to ninth.

“Just to give more of my side than what I said on pit road, to give him a greater understanding of my objectives and what I have going on than he might think he’s got going on,” Busch said on Saturday during a media availability at Richmond Raceway. “I think he understood that.

“I heard his side of it and didn’t really believe much into it when I didn’t even give consideration into him making a move because he was four car lengths back and then he was there. I knew he was back there but too far back there to do anything and then I got hit. It is what it is.”

Busch says he’s going to race Bell a little harder for a little bit as a result.

“Run him harder for a little bit until he concedes, you know, that he’s sorry on the race track and then we’ll get back to normal,” Busch said.

“It’s definitely frustrating, especially when it’s the (Kyle Busch Motorsports) alums, the guys who came up through KBM and you helped them along the way and they’re taking the extra 10 percent as opposed to giving a little bit out of respect,” Busch said. “Everyone is running their own race out there, and doing what they need to do, but obviously, Christopher is in a good place with good stuff and he needs to understand that.”

It’s the second time in three years that Busch has been spun out at Circuit of the Americas by Bell. Busch said it’s harder to immediately forgive someone for the same thing twice.

“Exactly, yeah,” Busch said. “I wouldn’t call it his fault the first time but it was contact with him that caused the issue two years ago at COTA and then again.”

Busch is one of the drivers Bell has the most respect for.

“I would say he’s one of my closest competitors,” Bell said. “Especially since Brexton started running the dirt cars, we talk often whenever we run into each other about the dirt track racing. So, yeah, I would say he’s one of the closest competitors in the sport that I have.”

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