Stenhouse had taken the blame during and after the July 7 race for the accident where he slid into Busch, but the Roush Fenway Racing driver didn’t reach out to Busch during the week before their arrival at Kentucky Speedway.
“You wipe out half the field and I’m pretty sure there would be a pretty busy Monday for him, but there wasn’t, so apparently he just doesn’t care,” Busch said Friday afternoon during his media availability at Kentucky Speedway.
Busch indicated he wouldn’t race Stenhouse much different.
“I can’t worry about people that far back in the field,” said Busch, who leads the Cup standings.
Stenhouse, who at 16th in the standings, went over to talk to Busch between rounds of qualifying Friday night. Busch still had another round to run and was sitting in his car.
In a television interview afterward, Stenhouse said he told Busch he shouldn’t run his mouth.
“I was like, ‘Hey, you’re right, you do run a lot further up front but pick and choose your battles wisely because you will have to deal with me sometime whether you are lapping me or we get our cars better and we are up there racing with you,'” Stenhouse said.
“So I told him if you want to keep running his mouth, he can come over and do it around me and I’ll stop it for him myself.”
Stenhouse said he didn’t reach out to the Joe Gibbs Racing driver because Busch blasted him on his in-car following the accident and then made additional critical comments to the media. In the moments following the accident, Busch told his team on the in-car radio: “He’s such an [expletive] dip [expletive]. What a [expletive] waste of [expletive] space.”
“I felt like he ran his mouth enough on his radio and then after the race, that I didn’t really have anything to say to him,” Stenhouse said. “I honestly feel like I normally do reach out to people when I make mistakes and I clearly made a mistake. But with him running his mouth, I just felt like I didn’t really need to call him.”