After finishing second in the Coca-Cola 600 and composed when answering questions on pit road, Busch gave a surly answer to an ESPN question and tossed the microphone on the table on stage in the media center.
The video went viral, with NASCAR talk radio and television shows engulfed in debate over Busch’s actions. Keselowski didn’t think much of them.
“The way you guys [in the media] portray it is the hunger to win,” Keselowski said Saturday at Dover International Speedway. “There’s some real funny balances in life, especially in this motorsports world, but your desire to win is not connected to how angry or any of those type of pieces in my mind.
“That’s one way of expressing it, but it’s not the only way. When people go out and write articles or the media comes out and says that that’s a reflection of him having the most desire to win, it makes me want to throw up.”
Busch and Keselowski have a deep history of dislike, and Keselowski said there are other ways — productive ways — to express a desire to win.
“Not only is that a terrible message to send to anyone who is aspiring to be part of the sport, that’s a terrible message to send to anyone in general in this world — that that is a reflection over your desire to win,” Keselowski said.
“When I look at teams and people in this sport, they all want to be associated with those that have the strongest hungers and desires and passions to be successful. That’s natural. That includes myself. … [Justifying his actions] is a terrible message that has serious effects, not just on our sport but on our society and I don’t think that’s acceptable.”
After winning the pole Friday at Dover, Busch said it is who he is and he was born with the temperament.
“I can’t speak for him specifically, but I can speak to the message,” Keselowski said. “If I am going to send a message to my daughter or kids and fans of mine, I want that message to be that is not by any stretch of the imagination the definition of the most desire, the most passion to win.
“You want to show me desire and passion to win? It’s what you do when nobody’s watching.”