Harvick tried to punch Busch through his car window after the race, and Busch responded by ramming into Harvick’s abandoned car, spinning it on pit road.
A month later, Harvick team owner Richard Childress punched Busch in the garage at Kansas Speedway.
Busch later intentionally wrecked Kevin Harvick Inc. driver Ron Hornaday Jr. in a Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, drawing a NASCAR suspension that caused him to miss the Nationwide and Cup races that weekend.
Though Busch and Harvick have tried to put their run-ins behind them, Darlington Raceway seized upon the opportunity to use it as a marketing campaigning leading up to Saturday night’s Bojangles Southern 500.
Billboards throughout the state have proclaimed, “Don’t Miss Round 2,” and feature a glaring Harvick staring at an image of Busch, who is wearing boxing gloves.
Radio ads feature the ringing of a boxing ring bell and talk about the renewal of their rivalry.
Busch and Harvick have stayed away from each other this year, and Busch has shied away from talking about it and is none too pleased about the ads.
Asked about the billboards two weeks ago at Richmond, Busch said, "I think it's dumb. It's pretty stupid."
Busch was asked about it again Friday at Darlington.
"Don't care," he said. "They can do whatever they want. It's their jurisdiction. They can advertise how they want to. It's just frustrating for the rest of us. Our sponsors don't want to see that. They certainly don't pick up a smile on their face when they see that stuff.”
Harvick, who ripped Busch again in interviews before this season and rarely passes up an opportunity to take a shot at him, has less of a problem with the Darlington ads.
“Things are what they are,” Harvick said. “We have tried to move past them and concentrate on what we have to concentrate on.
“The racetrack has to do what they have to do to sell tickets. It’s not like it didn’t happen. You can’t really hide from that. It’s OK.”
The agreement drivers sign with NASCAR to compete allows tracks to use their likenesses to promote races without their approval. Both drivers declined to participate in a photo shoot for the marketing campaign.
Though they have tried to put their feud behind, there still is animosity between the two drivers.
Asked Friday if he has spoken to Busch lately, Harvick said, “I don’t talk about Kyle or to Kyle.”
Busch said he has tried to forget about last year’s incidents.
"I tend to be able to let things go and forget about things, while others tend to keep dwelling and bringing them back up,” Busch said Friday.
Busch and Harvick aren’t the only drivers that have put confrontations from last year behind them. This season has been tame compared to last year’s seemingly weekly dust-ups.
Source: Sports News