Kyle Busch refutes ‘sandbagging’ claims from Toyota in Michigan

Nigel Kinrade/NKP

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

BROOKLYN, Mich. — Kyle Busch didn’t mince words when asked about Brad Keselowski’s alleging that Toyota Racing is sand-bagging this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.

“Brad’s a ****ing moron, okay,” Busch told ESPN’s Bob Pockrass. “We don’t just turn it down. We actually have a new engine package this week. He’s a moron.”

Busch, 32, is one of three Toyota drivers that have combined to claim four of the last five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races. The lone race the manufacturer has failed to win – the Brickyard 400 – was lost only after two dominant Toyotas in Busch and Martin Truex Jr. crashed near the midway point of the race.

Despite their recent dominance, Toyota has been quiet through the first two days of the weekend at Michigan. Instead it’s been the Chevrolet of Kyle Larson and the Fords of Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and affiliate Ryan Blaney that have topped the charts.

Keselowski chimed in with what he believe to be the reason for Toyota’s struggles after Friday’s pole run.

“About this time every year NASCAR takes all the cars to kind of check to make sure that the competitive balance is where they want it to be, and I think we’ve seen the last two or three weeks that the Toyota cars are pretty dominant,” Keselowski said. “We had a strong suspicion that those guys would kind of tune it down this weekend, so not to post a pretty big number in inspection that maybe balanced back out the competition, and potentially that’s right because our team hasn’t done much differently and those guys are just not as fast as they’ve been the last few weeks.

“So we’ll know for certain at the end of the week based on whether NASCAR takes the cars after the race today.”

Toyota’s top drivers have all shrugged at or denied Keselowski’s claims, with Busch providing the alternative idea that the manufacturer has brought a new engine package after his third-place finish in Saturday’s Lit Printing 200 in the Camping World Truck Series.

Keselowski will lead the field to the green flag in Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400. The fastest Toyota driver – Matt Kenseth – will start fourth.

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