INDIANAPOLIS -- Kyle Busch didn't want to make a deal with 50 laps remaining in the Brickyard 400. He felt he needed to race for the win.
Instead, his car and Martin Truex Jr.'s car ended up battered, and Truex escaped as his car erupted in flames after their crash Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"I'm glad I was able to get out -- [the] fire was bad," Truex said. "I had no brakes and I had to run into the wall a second time just to get it to stop so I could get out. Fortunately, I'm OK and we'll live to race another day."
It is not rare for drivers, especially teammates or ones with the same manufacturer, to make a deal for a restart at a track such as Indianapolis. The leader takes the outside, and the second-place car starts on the inside but agrees to let the leader in front by the time they get into the turns. The idea is to keep them from battling side-by-side, which could possibly help the cars behind them keep pace.
Busch and Truex had done that several times earlier in the race -- often when Busch was the leader -- but Busch didn't feel he could give up the track position with only 50 laps left. He had led 87 of the first 110 laps.
Because they had no deal, Truex took the inside. In Turn 2, he got loose and spun into Busch, ending the day for both drivers.
"It's time to race, man," said Busch, whose Joe Gibbs Racing team has a technical alliance through Toyota with Truex's Furniture Row Racing. "If I let him lead and he gets a 3-second lead before green-flag pit stops, then I never have the opportunity to get close to him. ... It didn't work."
Truex was fine but frustrated.
"I just got loose and wrecked him, I guess -- totally my fault," Truex said. "[I] didn't really know what to expect in that position and didn't really realize that he was going to drive in that deep and suck me around.
"I will take the blame for that and obviously it was my fault. I hate it for Kyle. He had a great car and we did as well, but that's racing."
Truex said he should have taken the outside lane.
"We worked well together, and that's the hard part about this stuff is when it's time to go," Truex said. "I feel awful and just made a mistake. I definitely should have picked the outside and it would have been fine, I guess."
Busch had won back-to-back Brickyard 400s but hasn't won a NASCAR Cup race since the 2016 Brickyard. He had won the pole for the race and won both of the early stages Sunday.
"It's just another way to chalk it up and another of figuring out how to lose these things," Busch said. "Nothing is ever in your direction until you see the checkered flag."