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NASCAR's Top 25 Most Fierce Feuds, Temper Tantrums & Magnificant Melees

Kara MartinSenior Analyst IAugust 11, 2010

NASCAR's Top 25 Most Fierce Feuds, Temper Tantrums & Magnificant Melees

1 of 26

    C'mon, who doesn't love a good fight?

    In certain circles it might not be the politically correct thing to admit to, but secretly you know you love it!

    A feud, whether it be verbal or physical is similar to a train wreck, no matter how hard you try to "do the right thing" and turn away, you can't help but to be sucked right in. 

    It is a primal curiosity that seems to be embedded into our very nature. It somehow calls to mind that someone, somewhere is having a worse time than we are and we revel in it. 

    In NASCAR, it also serves as a reminder that behind the steering wheel of those flashy, fast cars, our celebrity superheroes are really mortal after all.

    There are a few of the usual suspects that made the list more than once and a handful of surprises, but every one of them reminds us to keep our teammates close and our helmets closer, you never know when they might come in handy.

    Let's get ready to rumble!

Jimmy Spencer Vs. Wally Dallenbach

2 of 26

    MBNA 400: Dover International Speedway September 15, 1996

    Jimmy Spencer and Wally Dallenbach made contact on lap 456. As their cars came to rest on the apron, an enraged Spencer sprung from his car and gave the driver of the No. 15 a window full of big fat face time.

    NASCAR officials pulled Spencer away from the car as he continued to stomp around like a sleep-deprived child. 

    I don't know about you, but for me, there is nothing greater than to see a husky guy dressed like a Mardi Gras Day float and a skinny guy with a mullet getting their brawl on!

Dale Jarrett Vs. Shane Hmiel

3 of 26

    Sharpie Professional 250: Bristol Motor Speedway August 4, 2005

    With just four laps to go, Shane Hmiel took the "bump and run" approach in an attempt to make it to the finish line before his competitors. 

    Hmiel got into the back of Dale Jarrett's No. 90 Ford and knocked him out of contention for a solid finish and into the wall.

    Jarrett, understandably upset, exited his car and made his way to Hmiel's damaged No. 32 Chevrolet. During a stern chat through the window net, Jarrett can be seen pointing a finger and got "the finger" in return from Hmiel.

    Feud begins at minute 3:30

Robby Gordon Vs. Michael Waltrip

4 of 26

    Sylvania 300: New Hampshire Motor Speedway September 18, 2005

    An incident on the track between Michael Waltrip and Robby Gordon that ultimately send Gordon's No. 7 Chevrolet into the wall, left both drivers pointed the finger at each other in a common case of "he said, he said."

    An angry Gordon waited for the No. 15 Chevrolet to make its way back around the track where he then made his way into traffic and spiked his helmet at Waltrip's car. 

    A shocked Waltrip can be heard on the radio traffic saying, "He threw his helmet at my car, well that's just rude, it was his fault."

    In a post-accident interview, Gordon had a saltier description of what he thought about Waltrip.

Elliott Sadler Vs. Ryan Newman

5 of 26

    The Winston "Segment Two": Charlotte Motor Speedway May, 18 2002

    At first glance it seemed as if Elliott Sadler's No. 21 Motorcraft Ford just got loose in Turn 1, but upon further investigation it became clear that Ryan Newman's No. 12 Alltel Ford had given him a nudge from behind that sent him careening into the wall.

    Sadler retaliated by getting out of his car and pitching his helmet at Newman's car making a direct hit just above the driver's side window.

    During the post-accident interview an apologetic, yet frustrated Sadler declared, "I got a good right arm,  I used to pitch a little bit, I might have to throw it again if it happens, I want to apologize to my sponsor, I probably shouldn't have done it, but dammit this is the Winston & I wanted to win this thing!"

    Feud begins at minute 2:47

Tony Stewart Vs. Kenny Irwin

6 of 26

    NAPA AutoCare 500: Martinsville Speedway October 3, 1999

    Stewart spun Irwin not once but twice, before Irwin took his revenge by nudging Stewart from behind, backing his No. 20 Pontiac into the wall. 

    Despite being a fresh-faced Rookie, Stewart emerged from his car, threw his gloves at Irwin's car and confronted the driver of the No. 28 Ford through the passenger window before Irwin sped off into the pack. 

    A sullen star is born.

Jimmy Spencer Vs. Kurt Busch

7 of 26

    GFS Marketplace 400: Michigan International Speedway August 17, 2003

    The feud between Kurt Busch and Jimmy Spencer began two years prior to this incident, but this was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back or nose depending on how you see it.

    Busch's No. 97 Ford suspiciously ran out of fuel in front of Spencer's transporter as he tried to drive it back to his hauler after the race. 

    Spencer then rammed Busch's bumper, causing it to buckle, then hopped out of his car and approached Busch, reaching through his window and allegedly punching him in the face.

    Spencer was suspended and sat out the following race in Bristol, fined 25,000 and both he and Busch were put on probation until Dec. 31.

    Think Busch was innocent in the whole ordeal? Have a listen to his radio traffic and judge for yourself. 

Greg Biffle Vs. Jay Sauter

8 of 26

    AutoLite Fram 250: Richmond International Raceway September, 7 2001

    Greg Biffle and Jay Sauter first tangled on lap 18. A bump from Biffle sent Sauter's No. 43 Chevrolet behind the wall for repairs for 87 laps. 

    Payback sucks. 

    When Sauter returned to the track he sought out Biffle's No. 60 Grainger Ford and intentionally spun him, wrecking both cars.

    An infuriated Biffle jumps from his wrecked machine, makes a beeline to Sauter's car and swings his fist wildly through the driver's side window.

    I always pictured the mild mannered Biffle to be more of a lover, not a fighter, so to see this makes me giggle with delight. He hits like a girl!

    Feud begins at :44 minutes

Tony Stewart Vs. Goodyear Tires

9 of 26

    Daytona 500 Practice: Daytona International Speedway February 13, 2009

    Tony Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet collided with teammate Ryan Newman's No. 39 during practice for the Daytona 500 after a tire on teammate Ryan Newman's Chevrolet blew with such force to rip off the entire right rear quarter panel.

    Stewart, who was drafting with Newman could not avoid the collision. Both drivers ended up in backup cars and started in the rear of the field.

    When asked how it would affect his chances of winning the 500 in a post-accident interview, in true Stewart-like fashion he bluntly said exactly what was on his mind regarding the tire situation and how he felt about the interviewer.

Joey Logano Vs. Kevin Harvick

10 of 26

    Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 presented by Target: Pocono Raceway June 6, 2010

    It was only a matter of time before Joey Logano feuded with another driver, what better way to get your feet wet than with an accomplished fighter such as Kevin Harvick. 

    The two drivers got together while racing for the fifth position on lap 199 and it was Logano's No. 20 Toyota that would take a wicked spin and finish in the 13th position. Harvick finished in the position that he was vying for, fourth.

    Egged on by his Dad and held back by crew members, Logano marched towards Harvick on pit road and gave him the verbal business, which unleashed one of the best quotes of the year.

    "It's probably not his fault. His wife wears the firesuit in the family and tells him what to do, so it's probably not his fault.

     


David Starr Vs. Todd Bodine

11 of 26

    Camping World RV Rental 200 Driven by Winnebago Industries: New Hampshire Motor Speedway September, 12, 2008

    With just seven laps to go, David Starr drove hard into the corner under Todd Bodine, clipping the left rear fender of the No. 30 Toyota, sending Bodine's truck into the wall and leaving him with a 19th place finish. 

    On pit road Bodine expressed his frustration with Starr by pulling along side his No. 11 Toyota and sparked up a heated conversation. 

    Emotions ran hot as Starr exited his truck. He was immediately swarmed by Bodine's crew and a melee of words and fist throwing ensued. 

    NASCAR officials attempted to get the fight under control, but ultimately the drivers and their crew were escorted to the NASCAR hauler up by a group of State Troopers.

Hamlin Crew Vs. Keselowski Crew

12 of 26

    Chevy Rock & Roll 400: Richmond International Raceway September 6, 2003

    Ricky Rudd got into Kevin Harvick in Turn 1, with just eight to go.

    A hellbent Harvick drove his car onto pit road and rubbed the side of Rudd's No. 21Ford.

    The drivers spent several minutes yelling at each other from the comforts of their cars when Rudd noticed several of Harvick's crew rapidly approaching his car.

    Rudd said the crewmen then began "walking up and down my car like it is a dadgum runway or something. Bouncing up and down on the roof, up and down on the hood."

    Harvick exited his car and stood in the window frame and continued to yell at Rudd before according to Rudd, he took of his HANS device and threw it at him.

    As the situation escalated, No. 29 jackman Mike Scearce, jumped on top of Rudd's hood, denting it.

    "This is kind of a one-of-a-kind (car) that they just put together, and we didn't have a scratch on it until the end of the race," Rudd said. "It shouldn't have involved crew members basically attacking our car."

    NASCAR officials took charge of the situation and both drivers and their entire crews were summoned to the NASCAR hauler for a little chat with Mike Helton. 

Stewart Crew Vs. Kahne Crew

13 of 26

    Tropicana 400 Presented by Meijer: Chicagoland Speedway July 11, 2004

    Just a few hundred yards into a restart on lap 127, Tony Stewart who, thanks to fresh tires, got an incredible jump on the outside line, unintentionally sent Kasey Kahne into the wall after tapping his No. 9 Dodge from behind.

    Like a West Side Story gang, Kahne's crew mobbed Stewart's No. 20 pit in an attempt to settle the score.

    The huge altercation left the broadcasters speechless.

    Add insult to injury, Stewart won the race that day.

Juan Pablo Montoya Vs. Kevin Harvick

14 of 26

    Centurian Boats at The Glen: Watkins Glen August 12, 2007

    With just 18 laps to go, the No. 1 car of Martin Truex Jr. lost control and bumped Juan Pablo Montoya from behind sending him into Kevin Harvick's No. 29 Chevrolet.

    Both of the heavily damaged cars were left stranded on the track heavily. Harvick in turn blocks Montoya and gets out to confront the driver of the No. 42 Dodge.

    The drivers have words and a few helmet pulls as Harvick is under the belief that Montoya intentionally ran into him on the track and refuses to listen as Montoya tries to explain what really happened. 

    In the post-accident interview a steamed Harvick is clearly not ready to forgive and forget.

Carl Edwards Vs. Matt Kenseth

15 of 26

    Subway 500: Martinsville Speedway October 21, 2007

    As Matt Kenseth prepares for an interview, teammate Carl Edwards walks over, shoves Kenseth back several feet in what looked to be a joke at first. 

    The confrontation turned out to be not so funny after all.

    Words between the two drivers became heated over an on track incident. The two continued to shove one another, leading up to a fake out punch swing by Edwards causing Kenseth to flinch on camera.

    The look on Kenseth's face proved that there was nothing to laugh at in the Roush-Fenway camp that day. 

Kevin Harvick Vs. Joe Nemechek

16 of 26

    Nextel All-Star: Charlotte Motor Speedway May 21, 2005

    On lap 36 of 40 came "The Big One" that involved nine drivers, but it would be Joe Nemechek and Kevin Harvick who would begin their personal feud in the infield and carry it right back to pit road. 

    Nemechek's 01 Chevrolet got loose in turn four and made contact with Harvick's No. 29 tearing both of their race cars up and taking them both out of contention for the big monetary prize.

    In a frustrated post-accident interview, Harvick got tongue tied when he told Nemechek that he could, "Shove it where the shun don't shine baby."

Jeff Gordon Vs. Matt Kenseth

17 of 26

    Food City 500: Bristol Motor Speedway March 26, 2006

    Kenseth wrecked Gordon during the race. Gordon retaliated by jumping out of his car and without even removing his helmet shoved Kenseth as he attempted to speak with the driver of the No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet regarding the incident.

    Gordon would later say, "I wasn't happy about it, and I showed it to him after the race."

    Although he left his helmet on and looked like an over sized "Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em" robot, this would be the day that Gordon went from a boy to a man in my eyes.

Regan Smith Vs. The Yellow Line

18 of 26

    Amp Energy 500: Talladega Superspeedway October 5,  2008

    The finish of this race sparked heated debate over who actually won. Regan Smith may have crossed the start-finish line first, but it was Tony Stewart who was honored with the win.

    What! Why?

    Because Smith's No. 4 Chevrolet went below the infamous yellow line for a pass that put him into the lead ahead of Stewart and NASCAR says that ain't cool.

    But Smith said Stewart forced him down below the line, so that's fair...right?

    Umm, yeah...not so much.

    It's a thin yellow line between love and hate, when it comes to NASCAR.

    Check out the footage and you be the judge.

Jeff Gordon Vs. The Recycling Gods

19 of 26

    Aaron's 499: Talladega Superspeedway April 25, 2004

    Talladega is Earnhardt's house, everyone know that, so you can expect for fans to get a little ornery when anyone other than an Earnhardt crosses the finish line first.

    But when Jeff Gordon took the lead from Dale Earnhardt Jr. under a controversial caution, there was hell to be paid. 

    Be you fan or foe of the No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet and it's driver, what happened that day in Talladega left our sport with a big black eye. 

    As Gordon took his victory lap, "fans" showered the track and his car with beer cans in an attempt to show their displeasure. 

    Not only was it in poor taste, it could have proved dangerous had an innocent bystander or Gordon himself been struck by a hurling can of Pabst AND it was a waste of perfectly good beer!

    For shame!

    Beer can slinging begins at minute 3:41


Kevin Harvick Vs. Ricky Rudd

20 of 26

    Chevy Rock & Roll 400: Richmond International Raceway September 6, 2003

    Ricky Rudd got into Kevin Harvick in Turn 1, with just eight to go.

    A hellbent Harvick drove his car onto pit road and rubbed the side of Rudd's No. 21Ford.

    The drivers spent several minutes yelling at each other from the comforts of their cars when Rudd noticed several of Harvick's crew rapidly approaching his car.

    Rudd said the crewmen then began "walking up and down my car like it is a dadgum runway or something. Bouncing up and down on the roof, up and down on the hood."

    Harvick exited his car and stood in the window frame and continued to yell at Rudd before according to Rudd, he took of his HANS device and threw it at him.

    As the situation escalated, No. 29 jackman Mike Scearce, jumped on top of Rudd's hood, denting it.

    "This is kind of a one-of-a-kind (car) that they just put together, and we didn't have a scratch on it until the end of the race," Rudd said. "It shouldn't have involved crew members basically attacking our car."

    NASCAR officials took charge of the situation and both drivers and their entire crews were summoned to the NASCAR hauler for a little chat with Mike Helton. 

Jeff Gordon Vs. Tony Stewart

21 of 26

    Global Crossing at The Glen: Watkins Glen International August, 13 2000

    Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon got into each other in the road course chicane on lap two, but they saved the best for last. Strong words and many expletives were spewed between these two post race.

    Crew members stepped in to prevent the drivers from coming to blows, urging Stewart "to go into his truck and cool off," while Gordon stood outside his car telling Stewart to "Speed up and you won't have that problem (on the track)."

    I don't know why I love this video so, all I know is that it's "bleeping" good fun!

Kevin Harvick Vs. Carl Edwards

22 of 26

    Lowe's Motor Speedway October 2, 2008

    A shoving match between Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards began in the garage area in Charlotte,  over the "big one" that Edwards caused at Talladega, when he bump drafted teammate Greg Biffle a bit too hard and sent him spinning, causing a 12-car pile up.

    While no true video exists of the altercation, witnesses said it began when Edwards approached Harvick in the garage stall that housed his No. 33 Chevrolet and sparked a heated conversation.

    Allegedly, Harvick turned to walk away and Edwards grabbed him by the shoulder and spun him around. Harvick in turn forced Edwards onto the hood of the No. 33 Chevy in retaliation. 

    Witnesses also claimed the verbal exchange between the drivers was in reference to a handwritten note Edwards left on a seat in Harvick's airplane following the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega.

    The note facetiously thanked Harvick for disparaging comments he made toward Edwards on ABC following a multi-car wreck on Lap 174 of 188, which was triggered when Edwards tapped teammate Greg Biffle

     It was reported that Edwards sarcastically wrote, "I was really trying to screw up everyone's day. Love, Carl."

    Several championship contenders were caught in the melee, including Harvick, who had harsh words for Edwards and his strategy after the accident.

    "I know that his fans won't be very proud of him sitting back there riding around like a pansy," Harvick said. "If he had been racing all day, maybe he would have known how long the front of his car was."

Jeremy Mayfield Vs. NASCAR

23 of 26

    Jeremy Mayfield made a name for himself in May of 2009 by becoming the first Sprint Cup driver to be busted for violating NASCAR's random drug-testing policy. 

    A dishonor that I am sure that he ever strived to hold, but none the less will be one that he will be remembered most for. 

    Mayfield vehemently denied the reports that a urine drug screen disclosed the use of methamphetamine, stating that it was a "combination of prescribed medication and an over the counter medicine that reacted together and resulted in a positive drug test."

     

    NASCAR suspended him as an owner and a driver.

    Mayfield took NASCAR to court.

    NASCAR countersued.

    In May 2010, the case was dismissed by a federal judge.

    U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen in Charlotte, N.C., ruled that Mayfield had twice waived his rights to pursue any claims against NASCAR when he signed documents both as a driver and as an owner to participate in the stock car series.

    "Plaintiffs thereby waived their right to pursue their claims for defamation, unfair and deceptive trade practices, breach of contract, and negligence," Mullen wrote in his decision. "Plaintiffs' claims are hereby dismissed."

    Mayfield has the right to appeal to U.S. Court of Appeals, which many speculate that he will pursue.

    Conspiracy theories continue in this most bizarre case, but will we ever know the real truth behind it all?

Kevin Harvick Vs. Greg Biffle

24 of 26

    Channellock 250: Bristol Motor Speedway March, 23 2002

    This is hands down my most favorite Harvick throw down. He got "rammed in the ass" by Greg Biffle on the track and was not gonna stand for it.

    Harvick hopped out of his car, jumped the pit wall and headed straight for Biffle's pit, determined to wait for the driver of the No. 60 machine.

    Like a scene from "The Matrix," Harvick leaped over a car to get to The Biff as soon as he exited his Grainger Ford.

    When it comes to feuding, I am going to place my bet on Harvick every time.

Carl Edwards Vs. Brad Keselowski

25 of 26

    Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250: Gateway International Raceway July 17, 2010

    Another little gift that keeps on giving in the feud between Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski. 

    The most react altercation took place in July with an extremely controversial bump and run that sent Edwards to the front of the pack and Keselowki into the wall, causing a mullticar pileup on the frontstretch.

    The drivers raced side-by-side in the final lap and as Keselowki's Dodge inched ahead, Edwards turned into him and the rest was history.

    "I just couldn't let him take the win from me," said Edwards, "My guys work way too hard for that."

    "We had a great restart. My guys built me a great car. We came to the checkered flag, and I hate to see stuff tore up, but we came here to win and he took it from us there in Turn 1. Just an awesome race. ... I'm sure some of them don't like that win -- Brad Keselowski fans and stuff -- but, man, I just couldn't let him take it from me. I had to do what I had to do."

    Keselowski's interpreted Edwards' actions as intentional.

    "He turned left into me and wrecked me on purpose," Keselowski said. "I gave him the lane, and he still wrecked me. … I figured out a way to beat him. He wasn't happy with me, so he wrecked me. Wrecking down the straightaway is never cool, whether it's at 200 mph or 120. I'm sorry that's the way it had to end."

    Keselowski's father, a retired racer, took an even harsher stance regarding the fiery finish.

    "Brad got into Carl getting out of turn one -- racing -- they bumped, they rubbed, typical rubbing-racing deal," Bob Keselowski said. "Carl flipped out like he did at Atlanta and tried to kill the kid. I'm sick and tired of this. I'll get my own damn uniform back on and take care of this. He ain't going to kill my boy."

    Edwards ultimately was penalized 60 points in the Nationwide Series championship standing, a fine of $25,000 and probation in all NASCAR series until the end of the year.

    Edwards' car owner, Jack Rousch was penalized 60 owner championship points and Keselowski has also been put on probation until Dec. 31, 2010.

    Will that be enough to finally put this feud to rest?

Cale Yarbourgh Vs. The Allison Brothers

26 of 26

    Daytona 500: Daytona International Speedway February 18, 1979

    It was the fight that started it all, the one that separated the men from the boys and it all played out on National Television.

    CBS televised the first live race and we were a captive audience. While the race itself was a sight to behold, it would be the finish that hooked us and kept us begging for more. 

    On the final lap, while battling for the lead, Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborourgh wrecked in Turn 3, while Richard Petty happily sped by to take the lead. "The King" was crowned the winner.

    Allison had the lead, Yarborough moved low in an attempt to rocket past Allison, but Allison went low too, forcing Yarborough's left-side tires into the muddy infield. 

    Yarborough lost control of his car and collided with Allison. Both cars skidded up into turn three before coming to rest in the infield grass.

    Donnie's brother Bobby Allison got out of his car to see if the drivers were OK. Bobby finished a lap down, but Yarborough felt Bobby was blocking him on the last lap.

    "I was trying to talk to Donnie when Cale started hollering at me," Bobby said. "Then he hit me in the face with his helmet."

    "The rest is history," Donnie said. "It was the lightweight championship of the world after that."

    A three-man slugfest played out on national television and like a good train wreck, we could not avert our eyes.

    At the time, Yarborough found the entire incident disgusting.

    "It's the worst thing I've ever seen in racing," Yarborough said.

    But time changes your perspective. Eventually, Yarborough took a different view.

    "I think it made a lot of fans," Yarborough said years later. "People looked at that and said, 'These boys are real people and they do real things.' Looking back now, I think it's one of the biggest things that ever happened in the sport. It got people's attention."

    Thank you boys!

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