Jimmie Johnson has apologised to Kyle Busch after being involved in his second controversial collision of NASCAR's Daytona 500 build-up.
Johnson tapped Busch into a spin during Thursday night's first Duel qualifying race, causing damage that meant the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota could only finish a lapped 18th while Johnson came home eighth.
Though Johnson immediately asked his Hendrick Motorsports spotter to relay an apology to Busch, it was vehemently rejected via team radio.
The tangle followed the incident in last Sunday's non-championship Clash race in which all bar four of the 20 cars were enveloped in a crash triggered by Johnson spinning leader Paul Menard. Johnson then won the race when heavy rain arrived during the ensuing caution.
Johnson quickly took full responsibility for hitting Busch in the Duel.
"I just got it wrong, clearly," he said.
"We got three-wide and I just kind of misjudged that situation in being three-wide and trying to tuck in behind Kyle.
"Unfortunately I just turned him around.
"Apologies to him and his team. I know that is not what they wanted with their 500 car, but I just got it wrong there.
"I firmly believe the Clash was a racing incident. This one was a mistake on my behalf and everybody makes mistakes."
Menard and Johnson had cleared the air over their incident on Wednesday, with Menard accepting Johnson's driving was not intentional.
Busch said ahead of Friday practice that he had spoken to Johnson after the Duel.
"He texted me later last night and said 'I'm sorry, that was totally my mistake I just misjudged it'," said Busch.
"It is what it is. There's nothing that's going to change it for now.
"It's just unfortunate for me and our team not being able to run and finish the race how we wanted to and see if we could've bettered our starting spot from qualifying.
"We'll start at the back and we'll just have to come through and try to do what we can.
"My Camry is fast and had good speed and felt like it was driving pretty well. We'll just run some more laps today to try to finetune it and make sure it's all good."
The Duel results mean Johnson is set to start the 500 from 17th and Busch from 31st.
Johnson's Hendrick team-mates William Byron and Alex Bowman share the front row thanks to their results in last Sunday's qualifying session, while Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano earned third and fourth on the grid by winning the Duels.
Daytona 500 starting grid
|1||William Byron||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|2||Alex Bowman||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|3||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|4||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford|
|5||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford|
|6||Clint Bowyer||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|7||Paul Menard||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford|
|8||Aric Almirola||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|9||Matt DiBenedetto||Leavine Family Racing||Toyota|
|10||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|11||Martin Truex Jr.||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|12||Kurt Busch||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet|
|13||Darrell Wallace Jr.||Richard Petty Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|14||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske||Ford|
|15||Chris Buescher||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet|
|16||Jamie McMurray||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|17||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|18||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|19||Ryan Newman||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford|
|20||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet|
|21||Ryan Preece||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet|
|22||Ty Dillon||Germain Racing||Chevrolet|
|23||Daniel Suarez||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|24||David Ragan||Front Row Motorsports||Ford|
|25||Parker Kligerman||Gaunt Brothers Racing||Toyota|
|26||Kyle Larson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet|
|27||Landon Cassill||StarCom Racing||Chevrolet|
|28||Erik Jones||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|29||Daniel Hemric||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet|
|30||Brendan Gaughan||Beard Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|31||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|32||Corey LaJoie||Go FAS Racing||Ford|
|33||Matt Tifft||Front Row Motorsports||Ford|
|34||Michael McDowell||Front Row Motorsports||Ford|
|35||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford|
|36||Ross Chastain||Premium Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|37||Cody Ware||Rick Ware Racing||Chevrolet|
|38||B.J. McLeod||Petty Ware Racing||Chevrolet|
|39||Tyler Reddick||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet|
|40||Casey Mears||Germain Racing||Chevrolet|