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Johnson steps up the vitriol toward Busch

Jimmie Johnson came to Watkins Glen determined to pick up his row with Kurt Busch where the two left off at the end of the Pocono race, letting fly in the pre-race press conference.
"Bottom line, he just started running his mouth," snapped Jimmie Johnson at Watkins Glen on Friday, talking about Kurt Busch. "At the end of the day, I'm not going to let him run his mouth at me. It's just kind of how it is."

Anyone expecting Jimmie Johnson to return to the NASCAR paddock this weekend with his normal calm composure restored and displaying a more diplomatic, conciliatory stance toward Kurt Busch couldn't have been more wrong. Johnson took over the pre-race media appearance to let loose with both barrels and make it clear that his verbal fight with Busch was anything but done.

The fight between the two drivers started after the two made multiple swipes at each other on the final lap at Pocono after Johnson succeeded in passing Busch for third place. Replays showed Johnson that swerved at the side of Busch, and Busch responded by swerving into the #48 and making the first actual hit.

"We come off turn 1 and Kurt gets to me to side-draft me. I try to break the side draft and from there, he felt it was necessary to run into the side of my car and tear my car up," said Johnson explaining that initial swerve he made toward the #22. "I made zero contact with Kurt at Pocono. Once he hit me, then I leaned on him back. When I went to break the draft, I never touched him. Then he instigated the contact. That's not my goal."

But what really had Johnson worked up was how Busch had behaved when the two confronted each other in pit road immediately after the end of the race.

"When I hopped out the car and started talking to him, he had one level of interaction with me when he's sitting in his race car. When he got out of the car, neither one of us were happy, but we were talking," he said.

"Then the crowd started to build and his bravery started to build. I walk away, and he got awfully tough. That part frustrates me, and that's where you saw me engage like I did. If you're going to say something, say it to the man's face eye-to-eye when he's there, not when he walks away.

"The stuff on track made me mad, but to have somebody run their mouth like he does and did to me – if you look back at the timeline to when I was the maddest, that's when I was mad."

Johnson pointed out that Busch has always seemed to talk his way into trouble during his NASCAR career. "If you look at over the years and what his mouth has done for him: It got my 'biggest fan', Jimmy Spencer, to punch him in the face; it's led to issues with the NASCAR officials on pit road; I think we all tune in weekly and wonder what he's going to say to his crew guys; you look at what he said to Roger Penske, his car owner," he added, referring to the team radio tirade earlier this season that marked a watershed for the Penske organisation's season.




Related Pictures

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Jimmie Johnson climbs into the #48 in the garage area at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. [Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton for Getty Images]
Kurt Busch celebrates winning the Coors Light Pole for the Heluva Good Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway, his third consecutive pole position. [Picture Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Jimmie Johnson in the garage area. [Photo credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Patriotic Chevrolet, is involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, lead the field into turn one during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, finished in ninth place, Sunday, May 24, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finished in third place, Sunday, May 24, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, qualifies for ninth position, Thursday, May 21, 2015, for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Larson is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. All 43 drivers will be participating in
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eighth position, Thursday, May 21, 2015, for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. All 43 drivers will be participating in
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Patriotic Chevrolet, sits in his car prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Johnson’s car features Army 1st Lt. Robert L. Henderson II as part of the 600 Miles of Rememberance.  (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, stands on the grid prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Coating Systems Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place, Saturday night, May 16, 2015, in the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Red Nose Day Toyota, climbs into his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 15, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, races to victory Saturday night, May 9, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. Racing with him is Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS who finished in third place. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory with a burnout Saturday night, May 9, 2015 winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Saturday night, May 9, 2015 winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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