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October 31, 2014

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Reutimann had better keep one eye on his rearview mirror

David Reutimann was wrong. And as a result, he’ll have to spend the rest of this season, and maybe next season, looking in his rearview mirror, hoping that Kyle Busch isn’t riding his rear bumper.

Granted, Busch made the first contact in Sunday’s Price Chopper 400 when he bumped Reutimann and sent his car spinning. But it didn’t look intentional, a point Busch confirmed in his post-race interview. Reutimann obviously didn’t see it that way and retaliated with a move that was blatantly deliberate. As a result, Reutimann went spinning into the infield and Busch’s car, along with his position in the points standings, hit the wall.

Click to enlarge photo

Be sure to check out this week's StockcarToon on Thursday.

Reutimann overreacted. He assumed Busch wrecked him on purpose and, given Busch’s reputation as an aggressive driver, I can see how another driver might make that assumption. But payback, assuming it is warranted, is best served with finesse. And there was nothing subtle about Reutimann driving his bumper into the side of the No. 18 car with the fervor of a demolition derby driver.

Busch, on the other hand, showed maturity in the way he dealt with the incident. After initially marching to his trailer after the race to take a few minutes to cool off, he emerged to talk with an ESPN reporter and handled himself calmly and with a thick-skinned demeanor. Those few minutes in the trailer paid off.

But in all of this mayhem I was able to notice one humorous moment. A visibly upset Reutimann, in his post-race interview, was wearing a shirt that said: Reutimann collision repair.

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