Kyle Busch has moved to take the heat out of a row with fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Ryan Newman, admitted that calling his rival an "ogre" was a mistake.
Tempers between the two flared following Sunday's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, after an incident which saw contact between Newman and Kyle's older brother Kurt put the #78 Furniture Row Racing car out of the contention for the race on lap 225 after having led a race-high 102 laps up to that point.
"The #78 was good, I really hated that Kurt got tore up," Kyle told a group of reporters after the race. "I felt like he had the best car here today," he said, adding that he had been "proud of them guys but, man, just stupidity.
"I mean, Ryan Newman's the biggest stupid idiot out here and he's a big ogre and can do whatever he wants because he can probably kick anybody's butt. So no sense in getting in a fight with him, but glad he's out of a job."
Before the weekend's race, it had been confirmed that Newman was to leave Stewart-Haas Racing at the end of the season to make way for the incoming Kevin Harvick. Newman has admitted that he doesn't know where that leaves him in terms of a race seat for 2014.
Newman subsequently responded to Kyle Busch's comments in a radio interview on SiriusXM Radio
"I'm just afraid if I re-arranged his face I might fix it," Newman laughed. "He's frustrated finishing third or wherever he was after hitting me first and then getting a little rub down the straightaway. Just imagine how I feel. It is what it is.
"We know that he's not very bright," Newman added. "He's a heck of a talent but he's not very bright. And I'll leave it at that."
But Newman did agree that there had been clashes between himself and the #18 earlier in the race. "I admit to [making contact with] Kyle down the straightway after he blasted me into the corner," he said. "I didn't crash him. He didn't crash me. I don't know what he's got to be mad about. Evidently he's got a bone to pick for some reason."
And Newman made it clear that he wasn't going to let this latest spat lie: "What comes around goes around. I didn't expect to get hit, but I remember who hit me."