Vickers: Kyle Busch is 'out of rope' after Michigan fracas

Dave Ongie • Aug 21, 2009 at 12:00 AM

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Brian Vickers said he isn't mad about what happened between him and Kyle Busch following last week's Nationwide race at Michigan and he doesn't think there is a rivalry developing between the two drivers.

But from this point forward, Vickers said that the gloves will be off when he finds himself racing near Busch.

"I'm definitely putting it in the memory bank," Vickers said. "I don't know if you want to call it strike one or strike two, but either way, he's out of strikes."

While Busch was busy making laps around Bristol Motor Speedway during the first Nationwide Series practice on Friday morning, Vickers sat in the media center trying to wrap his head around Busch's outburst last Saturday in Michigan.

In the closing laps of the CARFAX 250, Vickers squeezed Busch's No. 18 down to the bottom of the track in an attempt to maintain his lead. Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski sailed by both cars on the high side on his way to the win.

Busch bumped Vickers after the race and confronted him on pit road after both drivers had parked their cars. Vickers said that Busch was upset that he didn't let the No. 18 car go, opening the door for Keselowski.

"That's what he told me, that the 88 didn't deserve to win and that if I had let him go and let him win, then he wouldn't have," Vickers said. "Frankly, I don't care if Kyle Busch wins. And I'm proud of the 88. Good for him. He snuck by both of us.

"It's my job to race for the win and if I don't win, I don't care who does."

Vickers went on to win the CARFAX 400 on Sunday, giving Red Bull its first Sprint Cup victory. He then signed a multi-year contract extension with the organization prior to arriving at the track for this week's Sharpie 500.

Needless to say, Vickers said that he's loving life right now and he wonders why Busch can't do the same.

"In a lot of ways, I feel sorry for him," Vickers said. "I hate that he lives in such an angry place. To be mad about something so small, it must be miserable to live like that. That's just not the way I live my life.

"I'm very blessed to have great parents who raised me to be a completely different person."

As the media session came to a close, Vickers emphasized that he wasn't looking to throw any fuel on the fire. He said he’s willing to wipe the slate clean and move forward, but the ball is in Busch's court.

"I'm willing to race him hard and clean and move on down the road," Vickers said. "And if he's not willing to do that, then I'm willing to take whatever path he chooses. I'm gonna race him whatever way he races me and he knows that and has been aware of that for a very long time."

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