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Newman, Busch swapping barbs after New Hampshire

Wednesday - 7/17/2013, 5:20pm  ET

NASCAR driver Ryan Newman, left, heads out after practice for the NASCAR New Hampshire 300 Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 auto race at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., Friday, July 12, 2013, (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)

DAN GELSTON
AP Sports Writer

Ahh, nothing like a little NASCAR name calling to spice up the week.

Kyle Busch called Ryan Newman an "ogre." Newman threatened to rearrange Busch's face and "fix it."

All that's missing is the principal to come break things up.

Busch and Newman are the latest drivers to feud following a dust-up at New Hampshire. Newman was involved in a pair of incidents with the Busch brothers that triggered the verbal sparring immediately after the race.

Newman was part of an accident that took out race leader Kurt Busch. Later in the race, he made contact with Kyle.

"I really hated that Kurt got tore up," Busch said. "I felt like he had the best car. And was proud of them guys but, man, just stupidity. I mean Ryan Newman's the biggest stupid idiot out here, and he's a big ogre and can do whatever he wants because he can probably kick anybody's butt. So no sense in getting in a fight with him, but glad he's out of a job."

Stewart-Haas Racing is giving Newman the boot at the end of the season to make room for Kevin Harvick.

Newman responded the next day on SiriusXM with some jabs of his own.

"I'm just afraid if I rearranged his face, I might fix it," he said. "We know that he's not very bright. He's a heck of a talent but he's not very bright. And I'll leave it at that."

But wait, there's more.

It's 2013. So that means there's only one way to settle a score. On the track with fenders flying? With fists in the garage?

Nah, Twitter.

Busch tweeted a sort-of apology for letting his emotions get the better of him after a tough race.

"I'm not sorry for how I feel in those moments, but could have expressed it better and certainly my comments about someone's livelihood went too far," he wrote.

_____

THREE TIMES A WINNER: With three wins in one week, Scott Dixon is suddenly in very lofty company in the IndyCar record books.

He won at Pocono on July 7 for his first win of the season, then added two more last weekend in the doubleheader at Toronto to become the winningest active driver in IndyCar. His 32 career wins ranks seventh all-time behind some of the biggest names in open-wheel racing: Three Unsers, two Andrettis, and the all-time leader, A.J. Foyt.

It's a position Dixon never dreamed he'd be in when the New Zealander joined the Champ Car Series as a 20-year-old in 2001.

"I started this when? I was 20 or 21 -- I was probably trying to think of where to go that night instead of what my future was holding," he said.

With his two wins at Toronto, Dixon passed teammate Dario Franchitti, Paul Tracy and Sebastien Bourdais, who all have 31. But Dixon has a ton of ground to gain on the competition: Tracy has retired from full-time IndyCar competition and Bourdais is saddled with inferior equipment at Dragon Racing. Franchitti turned 40 this year and nobody knows -- including him -- how long he'll continue racing full-time.

Dixon turns 33 next week and has a lot of racing left in his future while driving for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, where he's been since the fourth race of the 2002 season.

"I tried to just concentrate on it on a day-by-day basis, week-by-week," he said. "I'm very fortunate to have 31 of those wins with this team, 12 years with this team. I think me and Helio (Castroneves) are probably the longest active drivers with one team, which I think says a lot for the wins we've had and what we've achieved together. It's cool to be on that list and moving up it."

Foyt leads all drivers with 67 wins. Mario Andretti is next with 52 followed by son Michael's 42 victories. Fourth on the list is Al Unser with 39 wins, followed by Bobby Unser at 35 and Al Unser Jr.'s 34 victories.

"It does feel amazing," Dixon said. "Moving closer to some of these guys, years ago I didn't think I'd ever be in this position. I was a happy kid from New Zealand racing cars, then it worked into one day I was actually getting paid to race cars. It was a win-win situation.

"But for me, I think stats are for maybe when you retire, you kind of look back on it. No disrespect to anybody or anything about it. I want to race. I hope we can win more races together. But to be on that list, yeah, it's amazing to be among those names. What I hope for is we can win a few more."

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