Kurt Busch vows to put Jimmie Johnson conflict behind during the Chase

Kurt Busch hopes to keep his cool in this year's Chase and put his feud with Jimmie Johnson to rest as he vows to make the most of his chance of winning a second NASCAR Cup title

Kurt Busch vows to put Jimmie Johnson conflict behind during the Chase

Last weekend at Richmond, Busch and the reigning champion clashed on track twice, igniting once again a feud that has been on for a couple of years already.

The pair had a heated discussion following the Pocono race earlier this season after making contact on the track during the closing stages.

And last Saturday, right after the Richmond race, Busch told ESPN TV crews that Johnson needed to "learn to race" when questioned about their on-track exchange, saying also that the Hendrick Motorsports driver has beaten rivals because of superior equipment.

A few days later, the 2004 champion said he had spoken to Johnson to try to forget their feud as they both want to contend for this year's Sprint Cup title in the next 10 weeks. Busch said his focus is not placed solely on beating Johnson right now.

"Well we talked about it afterwards and we don't need to continue to wreck race cars but we do need to continue to put on a good show," said Busch. "I mean, that's what our fans buy the tickets for and they want to see a genuine rivalry between drivers but we've got our work cut out for us in this Chase and the focus of 10 weeks.

"There's 12 drivers in this Chase, not just one other guy and we just need to stick to our guns on what's got us to this point and that's consistency. So for him and I, we're going to continue to race hard with each other but we know it's championship time now."

Despite his clash with Johnson, which ended up being costly for the five-time champion as he only managed a 31st place, Busch was able to recover to cross the line fifth. He admits anger often boosts his performances on the track, as his charge last Saturday night proved.

"I would say that my tenacity on the track is definitely one that matches having that desire and that fire in the belly to be the best and to go out there and to race to win and to get the best finish each day," said Busch.

"That drive from within has drivers seeing red sometimes and I'm one that's guilty of that but I think I race better when I have anger. It just drives me to be my best and then you just have to snap out of it right after the race because you're coming back into the regular world. A lot of people don't see what drivers see through the windshield and what it takes to be successful."

Busch enters his sixth career Chase this weekend at Chicagoland, which he will start from seventh place in the ranking, nine points behind his younger brother Kyle who leads the playoff.

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