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Hamlin clearly had been briefed about Busch's reaction, and he was ready to thrown down. He took shot after shot at Busch, and when it was over, he stood up and told reporters, "Y'all be nice to me. I lashed out. It's the new me, the new me."
That was one final parting shot at Busch, who earlier this month credited his calm demeanor during a race as being part of the "new Kyle."
Hamlin laughed at that notion back then and pretty much did the same Thursday, saying he expects more of the "old Kyle" down the road.
Hamlin also reiterated his position that Busch was at fault in the All-Star race.
"He just felt like I took his line away," Hamlin said. "His line, the guy behind me. I'm sorry. ... If I didn't think I could win, then maybe I should've given him the line, but I was racing as if I could win. I just couldn't look myself in the mirror or any of my team guys in the face if I pulled over there."
Hamlin finished fourth. Busch wound up 14th in the 21-car field.
It remains to be seen whether they can work together, beginning Sunday in the Coca-Cola 600. Busch insisted they could. Hamlin said he's "not going to put too much effort in it, to be honest with you."
Busch and Hamlin might not be eager to reconcile. After all, each has had his disputes in recent years, with Busch clashing with his brother and Hamlin squabbling with Brad Keselowski.
Fellow drivers found reasons to defend both Busch and Hamlin in the confrontation, but several, including Busch's older brother, pointed fingers.
"My little brother, he made a mistake, got up in the fence," said Kurt Busch, who won the $1 million race. "He's been running these All-Star races for several years at 1,000-percent pace every year. It doesn't take 1,000 percent to win it."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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