Stewart proved again he won't back down to anyone by staying on the gas when Busch tried to block a pass 100 yards short of the finish line Saturday night at the Coke Zero 400.
As Stewart crossed the finish line, Busch's car was airborne and crashing off the Daytona International Speedway wall. By the time it stopped at the end of pit road, there was a parking lot of mangled cars - and hot tempers.
Stewart was cheered wildly before the race and a lot of them turned to boos in Victory Lane.
His voiced trembled as he saw all the emergency vehicles clean up the mess.
"I don't know if I'm real proud of that, but I don't know what else I could have done," Stewart said. "You're forced to that position. I got to his right-rear tire; he went to block and I was already there. He was doing what he had to do; I was doing what I had to do.
"I feel bad about this. If it's my fault, I'm sorry. I wanted him to have a good day, but I wasn't going to give it to him."
Stewart led with three laps remaining, but Busch went out front to take the white flag. Stewart got beside Busch in the fourth turn and Busch tried to cut off his advance. That's when the big crash started.
Jimmie Johnson drove through the melee to finish second, while Denny Hamlin was third. The rest of the top 10 were Carl Edwards in fourth, Kurt Busch in fifth, Marcos Ambrose in sixth, Brain Vickers in seventh, Juan Pablo Montoya in eighth, Matt Kenseth in ninth and Jamie McMurray in 10th.
Kyle Busch finished 14th, after sliding across the line.