NASCAR racer Kyle Busch apologized 10/4 after a rant against Toyota Racing Development after subpar fuel mileage cost him a win at Dover International Speedway. When he finished seventh after leading 302 of 400 laps, Busch radioed, “Thank you, TRD. (Screwed) us out of another one” and referred to the engine manufacturer with two more vulgarities.
In a statement released jointly by TRD and Joe Gibbs Racing, Busch said his remarks were “very misguided. I owe my friends at Toyota and TRD an apology. We have a great partnership with TRD and they built me a motor that helped me lead over 300 laps and nearly lap the field. It’s just frustrating that the caution fell where it did, and suddenly it became a fuel mileage race and we were set up for maximum horsepower. Obviously, that worked well for most of the day and you can’t control when the cautions will fall. I think we have a great partnership with TRD and we will continue to communicate with them on what our team is looking for. I’m looking forward to getting down to Talladega this weekend and focusing on the race.”
Busch, who missed the Chase for the Sprint Cup for the second time in four seasons, has suffered two motor failures among several mechanical breakdowns on his No. 18 Camry this season, reported USA Today.
“We understand Kyle’s passion for racing — and winning,” said Lee White, president and general manager of TRD. “At TRD and Toyota, we have that same zeal for racing — and winning. We were disappointed with Kyle’s postrace comments from Dover — a race that he dominated. Kyle’s had a frustrating year with several car and engine mechanical failures which were not his responsibility, and we’re working extremely hard on our end to improve our products and processes. We will continue to address these issues, but we’re ready to put this behind us and move forward with the remainder of the season, including the Toyota drivers battling for the championship.”
Kyle Busch isn’t signed past next season, reported the paper.
Said Ed Laukes, VP/marketing communications and motorsports, Toyota Motor Sales, USA: “We’ve had a fabulous relationship with Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing over the last five years. Kyle is a talented driver who wins races and can compete for championships, and he is a very important part of the Toyota brand. We look forward to a long-term relationship with Kyle and Joe Gibbs Racing for years to come.”
NASCAR point leader Brad Keselowski, who has feuded with Busch, playfully wasn’t ready to let it go and posted on Twitter: “JGR/Trd statement reminded me of a saying 1 of my teachers used to say, “with friends like this, who needs enemies?”