The crossover between “I AM ATHLETE” and NASCAR continued on Monday with the second racing-related episode. Hosts Brandon Marshall, Chad Johnson, Fred Taylor and Channing Crowder sat down with Kyle Busch to discuss his career and rivalries. It was during this discussion that the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry called Team Penske’s Joey Logano a “two-faced driver.”
“The problem with Joey is he’s two-faced,” Busch said during the episode, which aired May 17, 2021. “People know I’m an a******. I might be an a****** on the race track, which I’m really not. But Logano, he will come in here and he’s happy-go-lucky, go with the flow, super nice guy. Does great for charity, everything like that.
“You put him on the race track, when he puts his helmet on, he flips the a****** switch on the back of his head. To me, I hate two-faced guys. That drives me absolutely nuts. If you’re going to be a nice guy, be a nice guy on the race track as well. You know what I mean?”
Busch & Logano Previously Exchanged Blows After a Race
Issues between the two former Cup Series champions are nothing new. Busch used a specific incident from the 2017 season to prove his point. He talked about the infamous “pit road punch” at Las Vegas and provided his side of the story.
The incident occurred late in the race as the two drivers fought for position. Busch raced on the outside and had a slight lead but Logano hit him midway through the turn and sent the No. 18 Toyota Camry spinning down pit road. Busch finished as the last driver on the lead lap while Logano took third in the March 12, 2017, race.
Following the race, Busch stalked down pit road toward Logano. He did not say anything about the race, instead simply throwing a punch toward his rival’s face. The hit sparked a brawl that included several people and ended on the ground. There was only one confirmed punch and Busch walked away with blood on his forehead, which he said he sustained after hitting a car.
Busch provided more information about the fight during the episode of “I AM NASCAR.” He said he heard Logano throttle up and purposely hit him as they fought for position. He also said that data from the race confirmed this fact during their mandatory meeting with NASCAR to discuss the wreck and the subsequent fight.
Busch & Logano Weren’t Always Rivals on the Track
As Busch explained, he used to be teammates with Logano at Joe Gibbs Racing. The relationship started with Logano’s rookie season and lasted until the end of the 2012 season when he left to join Team Penske. However, Busch said that JGR wanted to get rid of Logano after some early struggles on the track.
“Joey, he was at Joe Gibbs Racing back in his early days — when he was a rookie — for three years. He only won one race in three years,” Busch explained. “There was a meeting between us drivers and Joe and JD [Gibbs] and Coy [Gibbs]. The guys that were running the business. They were like, ‘Well, we don’t know what we are going to do with Joey, but it’s not looking good. Might have to get rid of him.’”
Busch said that he vouched for Logano and fought to keep him on the team. He said he had his former teammate’s back at a critical point in his career. Years later, Logano wrecked him and prompted the pit road fight. Busch said that this incident on the track after his previous support really “fried his a**.”
As someone that previously had a rivalry with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Busch knows that he and Logano could sit down and possibly work out their issues. He just does not plan on doing so any time in the near future. Busch explained to Marshall and the hosts that they wouldn’t work anything out at this point in their careers. He said that it would be best to “wait until we retire.”
Based on Busch’s comments, reconciliation will likely be years down the road. For now, the two drivers will continue competing with each other in pursuit of another Cup Series championship. They both have won in 2021 and are headed for the playoffs, where they will likely fight for position once again.
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