This rivalry not so friendly

After Carl Edwards won the Sharpie 500, he left his mark on Kyle Busch's car. After Carl Edwards won the Sharpie 500, he left his mark on Kyle Busch's car. (RUSTY JARRETT/Getty Images)
By Hank Kurz Jr.
Associated Press / August 25, 2008
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BRISTOL, Tenn. - NASCAR has a new rivalry: Carl Edwards vs. Kyle Busch.

Edwards called the latest installment payback and Busch promised that retribution will come down the road.

During a season in which Busch and Edwards have dominated Victory Lane celebrations, their growing feud is adding spice to the Sprint Cup series and the upcoming Chase for the championship.

Edwards won the latest battle, nudging Busch aside with 30 laps to go Saturday night at the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, and continuing on to his second consecutive victory and sixth overall. Making it sting all the more for Busch was that he had led the previous 415 laps.

"It was all going fine there until the end," said Busch, who showed his frustration by retaliating after the race.

During the cooldown lap after Edwards took the checkered flag, Busch drove alongside Edwards and bumped his car. Edwards responded by driving the nose of his car into Busch's, spinning him out as the fans cheered.

Edwards defended bumping Busch during the race, saying he was merely using history as his guide.

"A real smart racer explained it to me this way after he wrecked me and I was real mad. He said, 'I just had to look at your rear bumper and decide if you would do this to me, and you had, and so it was a real simple decision,' " Edwards said. "I'd do it again."

Drivers tend to remember moments like that. Edwards recalled a Nationwide race earlier this season when Busch "was a lot faster than me and went ahead and got to my back bumper and just smoked the back bumper of my car and sent me up the racetrack. Afterward, he said, 'Sorry, man, my car was just faster.' "

Busch remembered a different incident, and said Edwards's good-guy image allows him to knock another driver out of a race, then claim he didn't mean to do it.

"He does that and he'll always come back and say he's sorry," Busch said. "He did it at Milwaukee and he's done it a few other times. It's just his normal fashion."

Edwards's victory put him 212 points behind Busch at the top of the standings and 20 back in bonus points with two races to go before the 10-race Chase begins Sept. 14 at Loudon, N.H.

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