Jimmie Johnson apologises to Kyle Busch for NASCAR Duel collision

Jimmie Johnson has apologised to Kyle Busch after being involved in his second controversial collision of NASCAR's Daytona 500 build-up

Jimmie Johnson apologises to Kyle Busch for NASCAR Duel collision

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

Pos Driver Team Car
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

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Author Jim Utter
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