Kyle Busch and Christopher Bell knew questions about their run-in at Circuit of The Americas were coming after their arrival at Richmond Raceway one week later. Bell lived up to his last name when the question came first in his Saturday morning availability, mimicking a game-show sound: “Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner!”

The answer from both NASCAR Cup Series drivers — former teammates who raced for the same spot of real estate on the Texas road course last Sunday – was that they had spoken by phone and tried to sort out their on-track differences. As for how they’ll race each other moving forward, starting with this Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond, Busch said he expects to compete against Bell with a slightly different approach for now.

“Run him harder for a little bit until he concedes that he’s sorry on the race track,” Busch said, “and then get back to normal.”

“I mean, I was surprised that he called me back,” Bell said. “You know, I called him Monday and he didn’t answer, and then I thought that that was going to be the end of it. And I was really happy that he called me back and we had a conversation, and it was a good conversation. We don’t have a lot of run-ins, but the two times that we have had run-ins, he’s been on the losing side of it. So, I’ll just race him with respect, as I’ve always tried to, and it is what it is.”

— —