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Kyle Busch Vows to Race Christopher Bell Differently After COTA Incident

Kyle Busch Christopher Bell rivalry 2024 Richmond Raceway

Photo Credit: Taylor Kitchen,

A week after a tap from Christopher Bell sent Kyle Busch spinning from the fifth position in the final Stage of the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas, Busch still isn’t happy. Christopher Bell explained in a media availability earlier this week that he had an additional chat with Busch via phone on Monday after the two had a heated exchange on pit road following last weekend’s race.

At Richmond Raceway on Saturday morning, Busch explained that the reason of the additional talk with Bell this week was, “Just to give more of my side than what I said on pit road. For him to have a greater understanding of my objectives and what I’ve got going on versus what he might think he has going on. 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 to him making a move because he was four lanes back. And then all of a sudden, he was there. I knew he was back there, but too far to do anything. And then I got hit. It is what it is.”

Busch, who was still able to rally to a ninth-place finish at COTA, came into that race on a brutal three-race stretch of finishes outside of the top-20. He was looking to stop the bleeding, and while he did, he was certainly heading to a much better finish than ninth before the contact from Bell.

While Busch is still carrying the frustrations of a week ago as he heads into Sunday night’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway, he says that he will definitely race Bell differently from the drop of the green flag. And he’ll continue to do so until he feels that Bell concedes on track.

“[I’ll] Run him harder for a little bit until he concedes that he’s sorry on the race track and then get back to normal,” Busch explained.

Adding to the frustrations for Busch is the fact that Bell is a former teammate from his Joe Gibbs Racing days, and Busch actually gave Bell his NASCAR National Series start in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Kyle Busch Motorsports, where Bell won a championship.

“Yeah, it’s definitely frustrating. Especially when they’re the KBM alums, right,” Busch sharply pointed. “Like, when you’re racing against guys that have come through KBM, you’ve helped them along the way and you feel like they’re taking that extra 10 percent rather than giving a little bit out of respect. But everybody has their own race out there, and they try to do what they need to do. Obviously, Christopher is in really good stuff, at a really good place, and he needs to understand that.”

The incident pushed Busch to a breaking point with Bell as it was the second time in three years that he’s had a run-in with his former protege at the 3.410-mile road course in Austin, Texas.

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

If the two find each other Sunday night at Richmond Raceway, will Bell quickly concede to appease Busch and successfully bury the hatchet? Or will we see yet another dust up between the two? We’ll find out tomorrow night.

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