Clash of the Cup Champions? Johnson and Busch tangle en route to Miami
Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson are feuding on and off the track in 2009 (photo: John Harrelson, Getty Images)
In the heated battle to decide who will contend for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 22, tempers between two past Champions are flaring: three-time reigning Champion Jimmie Johnson and 2004 Champion Kurt Busch have rumbled on the track and grumbled off of it. And neither is ready to be humble about the issue just yet.
"I don’t know what the problem is with Jimmie and me, but we’re running into each other way too often it seems.” Busch said after the recent race at Chicagoland.
The rift began June 21 at Infineon when Johnson sent Busch spinning with only a few laps remaining. A week later at New Hampshire, Johnson was the victim as Busch bumped him out of the way on a restart. Then, on July 11 at Chicagoland, Johnson got loose while racing three-wide with Busch and Jeff Gordon, making contact with Busch. The No. 2 Dodge then appeared to retaliate by turning into the No. 48 Chevrolet, in the process knocking both cars our of race contention.
“First I have to find out if he's mad.” Johnson said in response to a reporter’s question about having a post-Chicago discussion with Busch. “I kind of thought it just was a racing thing. But the fact that everybody's asking about it makes me wonder.”
Wonder no more, JJ—Busch was peeved: “We got spun together at Sonoma and got hit here again,” said the driver of the No. 2. “I'm trying to decide what's going on with the 48 [car]….I’m starting to lose faith in his ability to be a three-time champion on the track.”
Johnson has won all three of those titles in Miami and on Nov. 22 will be seeking an unprecedented fourth-straight Sprint Cup Championship. Sitting third (Johnson) and fourth (Busch), respectively, in Cup standings after 19 races, both Champions will be looking to collect some more hardware come Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami on Nov. 22.
So while they’re neighbors in the points standings, that proximity is not so close off the track. And with heated words serving as conductors for electrifying racing, there could be quite a scuffle for the Sprint Cup at Homestead-Miami on Nov. 22, as the duo battles not only each other but the likes of Gordon, Tony Stewart, Mark Martin, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Miami’s own Juan Pablo Montoya and Carl Edwards, reigning Ford 400 winner at Homestead-Miami.
Great seats are available now for the Nov. 20-22 Ford Championship Weekend, featuring the series-crowning Championship finales of all three of NASCAR’s top circuits: the Camping World Truck Series (Friday), Nationwide Series (Nov. 21) and Sprint Cup Series (Sunday). For Friday night’s Truck Championship, all kids 12 and under will be admitted FREE; on Saturday for the Nationwide Championship, all kids 12 and under are just $15; and for Sunday’s Sprint Cup Championship, adult tickets start at just $55. Click here to view available seats for each race.