Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski wrote the next chapter in NASCAR's ongoing saga of "Boys, have at it" on Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Both drivers traded paint and exchanged jabs throughout the 500-lap race at Martinsville. At the end of the day, Busch went to victory lane, snapping an 83-race winless streak in the Sprint Cup Series, while Keselowski ended up finishing 38th with a torn-up race car.
Busch and Keselowski were teammates with Team Penske from 2009-11. Now they're rivals.
Both drivers crashed early in the race on lap 44 when, during the NASCAR- mandated competition caution, they made contact on pit road. Keselowski dove into the back of Kasey Kahne, while Kahne was entering his pit stall. At the same time, Busch plowed into Keselowski. All three drivers suffered damage to their cars, but Keselowski had the worst of it, as he spent 30 laps in the garage for repairs before returning.
Keselowski was furious with Busch, blaming him for being too aggressive on pit road.
"Aggressive is good, but lap 50 wrecking somebody, if you're gonna be aggressive, wreck yourself, don't wreck me," Keselowski said. "I'll remember that when it's lap 50 and he needs a break and he'll find his (rear) turned around in the wall just like he tore my car up. That stuff will come around.
"Once or twice when it happens you go, 'Oh, it happens.' But when it happens repeatedly, then you just realize who the person is that's at fault, and you just have to make sure that you show them you're not gonna take that. I'm not gonna take that. I know this 2 team is not gonna take it. We had a race- winning car today, instead we finished (38th) with the whole front end tore off of it. That's inexcusable, and I'm not gonna put up with that."
Busch sustained minimal damage, as he remained on track after leaving the pits. But he thought at the time that winning the race was out of the question.
"We just got destroyed by the 2 car coming out of the pits," Busch said over his team radio immediately following the incident. "The left-rear just got hammered. We're probably ruined for the rest of the day."
The altercation between the two didn't end there. Shortly after returning to the track, Keselowski tracked down Busch before he slowed up and hit his brakes when Busch was right behind him. Both drivers then raced side-by-side, with Keselowski bumping into Busch several times to express his displeasure.
They continued interfering with each other until lap 103, when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. lost control and slapped the wall while trying to pass them, forcing a caution.
Busch lashed out at Keselowski on his team radio, saying, "Guess we get to get in a fight afterwards, because I'm going to (expletive) that dude's (expletive) face up."
Busch went on to lead 23 laps, including the final 11, to score his 25th career win in Sprint Cup, including his second at Martinsville. Busch's first win with Stewart-Haas Racing came in just his sixth start with the team.
During his post-race press conference, Busch called Keselowski's actions on the track a "punk-a-- move" and noted that "(Keselowski) will get what gets back when I decide to give it back."
When Keselowski learned after the race that Busch wanted to inflict physical harm on him by rearranging his face, Keselowski responded, "Tell him to come here. I'm right here. He knows where I'm at. Leave victory lane, and we'll go."
Obviously, there's bad blood between the two right now.
Busch had a different version of what happened on pit road, noting that he was not at fault for hitting Keselowski.
"Brad drove into the No. 5 car (Kahne) on pit road, and I was just going around a wrecked car, and then he turned into my door," he said. "You know accidents happen on pit road, and then he drug it out on the racetrack, wanting to start some nonsense. There is no need for that. Brad and I, we have always been good before, but it's battle time now."
Keselowski and Busch also had an altercation in last year's Sprint Cup race at Kentucky. Both drivers wrecked during a restart early in that event when Busch bumped into Keselowski while the two were running on the apron of the track in turn 1. Keselowski's car shot up the track and slammed into the wall.
After their second run-in now, Keselowski, the 2012 Sprint Cup champion, has made it known that he has lost respect for Busch, who won the series title in 2004.
"(Busch) does awesome things for charity, and he's probably the most talented race car driver, but he's also one of the dumbest, so put those three together," Keselowski said.
Sprint Cup heads to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, as Busch and Keselowski will certainly be the center of attention there.