Back when Dale Jr. was still racing, those two fought like cats and dogs, and one time at an incident at Phoenix during a practice session in 2014, Dale Jr. accidentally got in Kyle’s way as they came onto pit road.
Apparently, Kyle was none too pleased about it, and flipped Jr. the bird as he passed by.
That sent Jr. into a literal tailspin and had him fit to be tied, so he decided to find Kyle in the hauler and confront him about it afterwards, which he explained on the Bussin’ With the Boys podcast last year:
“He sticks it out in front of the window net. He’s like, ‘F-you, man!’
And I pull into the garage, and it just sent me over the edge. So the practice ends and I debrief with my team and I’m frustrated with my car.
It’s just been a bad season, and then that happened and I’m going to go to my hauler and I see his hauler, and I’m like, I’m going in there, and if he’s in there, I’m going to confront him about it.”
When he found Kyle in there, he gave him a piece of his mind and didn’t mince any words, that’s for damn sure:
“I walked up into his hauler, which is an 18-wheeler trailer, and you walk to the very front of the trailer, and there is a lounge. In the lounge is Kyle and his crew chief.
I know his crew chief very well and I said, ‘Kyle, if you ever flip me off again, I am going to rip your head off. I am going to kill you and beat the hell out of you.'”
Damn, Jr… it’s honestly hard for me to even imagine him saying that, because he seems like a pretty happy and good-natured kind of guy, but I guess Kyle got to him that day.
And on a recent episode of Dale Jr.’s podcast the Dale Jr. Download, he heard a story from young Xfinity driver Ty Gibbs, grandson of Joe Gibbs, who admitted to Jr. that he’d flipped off other drivers on the track before, after Jr. asked him if he’d ever done so.
Ty experienced some backlash himself a few months back, after getting into it over an incident at a race in Martinsville with his longtime rival Sam Mayer of JR Motorsports.
The two actually exchanged a few punches on pit road, and wound up in a little meeting in the Xfinity Series officials’ hauler to discuss what happened:
Ty told Jr. that Kyle Busch, who currently races for Joe Gibbs racing in the Cup Series, told him he shouldn’t flip off other drivers anymore.
Of course, it left Jr. dumfounded, as he asked Ty if he knew that Kyle had been known to do it himself before.
Ty seemed pretty clueless about Jr.’s history getting flipped off by Kyle, and Jr. laughed as he responded:
“Did he tell you that he’s also flipped people off? He’s a bit of a hypocrite, I guess.”
Jr. said before that part of the reason he was so upset with Kyle doing that was because of the lack of respect it implied, seeing as he is 10 years older than Kyle.
Jr. also told Ty during their conversation on the podcast that he has his own rules for when it’s no longer acceptable to flip someone off:
“I remember when I came into the Cup Series, flipping someone off, when you’re in your late teens, twenties, flipping someone off is not a big deal. It’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m just letting you know I’m mad. Flip me off. I don’t care. It’s fine.’
But to a guy that’s like 35 and older, they get personal about that. I’m now at that place where, if I’m out on the race track and especially a younger driver flips you off, it flips a switch that I didn’t know was there.
Because I remember doing it when I was younger and I think it was Rusty Wallace or somebody, I was either getting this conversation from Rusty or I was listening to it, and it was basically like, ‘Look man, if you’re going to flip somebody off be ready to get your ass run over in the next corner because that’s what’s going to happen.”
I mean, that all makes perfect sense to me, but I just keep wishing there was some live footage of Jr. chewing Kyle out in the hauler back then, though… talk about TV gold.
You can check out that whole part of the conversation here though, it’s pretty funny to see Dale Jr.’s and Mike Davis’ reactions to Kyle’s words of wisdom for Ty: