Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick’s temper-tantrum outbursts at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday night were just what NASCAR needed.
There is nothing like some helmet-hurling or good old fashioned finger-pointing to make a sport more exciting to watch.
Tony Stewart set the tone with an aggressive two-handed sidearm throw of his helmet at the front of Matt Kenseth’s car during the caution with precision. The public hissy fit was almost as amazing as his comments to David Caraviello from NASCAR.com after the race. Via nascar.com:
"I checked up twice to not run over him, and I learned my lesson there. I'm going to run over him every chance I've got from now 'til the end of the year. Every chance I've got."
Stay tuned to the coming races, as this can hopefully escalate to a feud worthy of a WWE pay-per-view event.
Danica Patrick was a little more ladylike with her outburst. After being on her way to what looked like a sure top-20 finish, Regan Smith crashed her into the wall on lap 435, adding to her season already filled with unfortunate events.
Unlike her boss Stewart, she didn’t have to throw any helmets to display her displeasure at the results. She just gave him a glare and pointed at Smith with a level of disgust that most married men would recognize instantly.
Revenge is a dish best served cold, and Regan is prepared to receive it, according to his comments to Jeff Gluck from SB Nation:
Are driver outbursts good for NASCAR
"If she's got to wreck me to get me back, then I'll be ready for it. That's how it is sometimes, unfortunately."
Whether you like the drivers or agree with their actions doesn’t matter, it brought the sport into the conversation while most of the sports world is focused on NFL preseason, MLB playoff races and all the doping you’re tired of hearing about.
Stewart and Patrick provided a spark that will make the rest of the season and the chase that much more exciting for a sport that the uninitiated would say is just a bunch of left turns.
Jamal Wilburg is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report.