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Busch, Spencer exchange insults

[AP photo]
Kurt Busch gestures at Jimmy Spencer during a caution lap. Busch said Spencer caused him to crash.

By JOANNE KORTH, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 5, 2002

INDIANAPOLIS -- They're at it again.

Kurt Busch and Jimmy Spencer renewed their feud at the Brickyard 400, complete with a crash, an angry gesture and some name-calling. Busch's No.97 Ford had just passed Spencer's No.41 Dodge when Spencer's car bumped Busch's from behind and spun it into the wall in Turn 2 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"That's what happens when you get back there with the decrepit old has-beens. Or I guess he's a never-was," Busch said. "There's nothing you can say or do about his type of thinking. He's got the brain of a peanut."

Busch waited for Spencer to come by under caution, ran down the track and gestured angrily at Spencer. When the cars came by a second time, Busch patted his backside because he wanted NASCAR to black-flag Spencer and send him to the back of the field.

At Bristol in March, Busch won after bumping Spencer late to take the lead. Spencer warned that when he bumped back, Busch would not finish. Busch said he believed Sunday's action was intentional. Spencer denied it. "I don't know if something broke on his car or what. He just slowed down immediately, and I bumped him," Spencer said. "I sure didn't mean to do it. I think Kurt has a lot to learn, and some of that is to control his mouth."

NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said Busch, Spencer and their car owners, Jack Roush and Chip Ganassi, must meet with NASCAR officials before either can go on the track next weekend. IT STILL SMARTS: The soft walls that made their NASCAR debut Sunday received an early test when Mike Wallace cut a tire on the No.14 Dodge during Lap 10 and hit the Turn 2 wall before sliding across the track and into Brett Bodine's No.11 Ford.

Neither driver was injured.

"I guess I'm glad I hit that because it hit a ton just then. I'm glad it was there," Wallace said. "We were under wide-open throttle, so it hit awful hard."

PIT STOPS: Three-time Brickyard 400 winner Jeff Gordon's winless streak reached 29 races. ... The track temperature at the start of the race was 134.5 degrees. ... Kevin Harvick finished fifth despite being ill Saturday night and receiving treatment for food poisoning Sunday morning. ... The $7,423,979 purse was a Brickyard 400 record, but Bill Elliott's $449,056 first-place prize was not.

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