Alex Bowman Comes to Kyle Busch’s Defense After Las Vegas Blow-Up

Las Vegas

Getty Alex Bowman (bottom) celebrates after winning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Two NASCAR Cup Series drivers have cleared the air after a contentious end to the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube. Alex Bowman and Kyle Busch have taken the time to discuss Busch’s post-race comments about the driver of the No. 48 “backing” into wins.

Bowman appeared on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on March 9 and provided some defense while discussing the now-infamous radio chatter. He explained that a conversation between him and Busch took place the day after the race and that the driver of the No. 18 was not trying to be disrespectful with his comments. He was just unhappy after losing at his hometown track.

“I talked to Kyle Monday night, and he was just mad that he lost the race. He wasn’t mad at me,” Bowman said during his March 9 appearance. “I didn’t do anything to him. Kyle and I have always raced each other with respect. He was just mad that he lost the race, and I was the one on the other end of the rant.

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“Obviously, Kyle’s really passionate, and we’ve seen that from him for a long time. I was in the fire on that one, but he basically said he was just mad about losing the race and didn’t mean to be so disrespectful to me.”

With the rant now a thing of the past, the two Cup Series drivers will continue their west coast swing with a trip to Phoenix Raceway. They will compete in the Ruoff Mortgage 500 on March 13 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX), providing Busch an opportunity to pursue his fourth victory at the one-mile track.

The Comments Sparked a ‘Merchandise War’

“The same f****** guy who backs into every f****** win that he ever f****** gets, backs into another f****** win. Bulls***!” were the comments that Busch made over his radio after Bowman crossed the finish line first.

Shortly after the race came to an end, there were discussions on social media about whether Bowman would release a new shirt. He had previously done so with the “Hack” merchandise inspired by an angry Denny Hamlin rant, which he used to purchase Martinsville clocks for his crew members and to donate a significant amount of money to Best Friends Animal Society.

Bowman provided the answer the day after the race. He revealed the new t-shirt inspired by Busch’s rant. The “All Luck, No Skill” design included some Las Vegas elements, as well as a line of text about backing into wins. Bowman also revealed that he would donate 18% of the proceeds to Best Friends.

The t-shirt design was the first volley, and Busch quickly responded in a different manner. The driver of the No. 18 Toyota kicked off a sale on his merchandise store and discounted multiple items by 48% as a reference to Bowman’s number.

Bowman Also Addressed Past Conflict With Denny Hamlin

Busch was the second member of Joe Gibbs Racing to make angry comments about Bowman after a race win. Hamlin also did so after the October 31, 2021, trip to Martinsville Speedway.

Hamlin talked to reporters after the race came to an end and called Bowman a “hack” who “gets his a** kicked by his teammates every week.” The driver of the No. 11 was upset about contact from the No. 48 that sent him spinning and took away his opportunity to win his first race of the year. He responded by interrupting Bowman’s victory celebration and then making angry comments.

“As far as Denny goes, I crashed him,” Bowman added during his appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “I got loose and screwed up and crashed him. I understand him being mad about that. I think Denny got super personal and crossed all the lines, but at the same time, I understand why he was mad.”

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