Tony Stewart and the 20 Most Outspoken Drivers in NASCAR
In the sport of NASCAR, there is a select group of personalities that tend to never shy away from any microphone that goes near them.
They're usually brutally honest, never hesitating to bash other drivers, NASCAR, tires and even track general managers. (Just ask Tony Stewart.)
Sometimes, facts are just simply in the way of an opinion that must be conveyed. The concept of teammates can be thrown out the window, with the very concept of family being a relative term.
Here are 20 of the most outspoken drivers in NASCAR, spanning all three national touring series (Sprint Cup, Nationwide, Camping World Truck).
Normally known for his quiet, reserved personality, Kasey Kahne has been willing to speak his mind—especially when involved in a crash.
The most notable of these incidents came when he openly criticized then-teammate A.J. Allmendinger for causing a multi-car crash that ended Kahne's day just short of the checkered flag last June at Pocono, but not before oddly taking some of the blame himself.
If you've been following NASCAR for any length of time in, say, the past 10 years or so, then the inclusion of Kyle Busch on this list is a complete no-brainer.
Full of jubilation when he's in Victory Lane, "Rowdy" often lets his anger show even when he finishes second. (Give him credit for calming down after disappointing races these days, as the advent of the "new" Kyle Busch rises.)
As this NSFW clip from Inside NASCAR shows, he also has quite the critical potty mouth inside the car.
Once again, Harvick—especially in his younger days—is an easy addition to this list.
His most memorable moment of outspokenness may have come after the September 2003 race at Richmond, when Harvick was wrecked by Ricky Rudd late in the race. Needless to say, "Happy" was not pleased.
Juan Pablo Montoya
The Colombian-born Formula One alum is starting to earn a reputation for colorful comments on his in-car radio during races (see: the past two Brickyard 400s), but he's told interviewers off in the past for idiotic questioning.
For example, take this exchange with ESPN's Vince Welch following the August 2009 race at Pocono Raceway.
Yes, I realize Jimmy Spencer has been a SPEED commentator for a few years now, but I couldn't resist putting an interview with "Mr. Excitement" on this list.
Much like an elephant, Jimmy Spencer never forgets.
Even though Joey Logano hasn't turned 21 yet, he's already building a bit of a reputation for saying a bit too much in post-race interviews.
For an obvious example, take his now-infamous comment regarding Kevin Harvick and his wife after last June's race at Pocono Raceway.
Jennifer Jo Cobb
What happens if you start a race and the owner tells you to park the car, even if your contract states you will run the full race?
If you're Jennifer Jo Cobb, you refuse to start the Nationwide Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway for 2nd Chance Motorsports and get an interview with ESPN's Dr. Jerry Punch in which you bash team owner Rick Russell.
Cobb may have pulled off the best example of outspokenness on this list, as she greatly benefited from this situation.
Known as the "Mayor" of NASCAR for his excellent public speaking skills and campaigning for driver safety, Jeff Burton isn't above letting other drivers know how he feels about them when he's caught in a crash.
Two examples of this take place roughly 1:20 into the video attached.
While Kurt Busch is almost the complete opposite of his brother when it comes to being outspoken outside the car, the elder Busch brother uses plenty of blue language on his in-car audio.
There are many visual examples of this, but the audio provided roughly 3:20 into this video may be the best example.
One of NASCAR's few multi-disciplined drivers that dabble in other forms of motorsports, part-time off-road racer Robby Gordon is always willing to take to the media to argue his case.
The most recent situation came earlier this year, when Gordon claimed Kevin Conway and his sponsor ExtenZe owed his team cash after allowing Conway to drive his No. 7 Toyota late in the 2010 season. Gordon blasted Conway via Twitter and drew fan support in the process.
Here's Robby talking to ESPN's Marty Smith after being disqualified for spinning out Marcos Ambrose late in the inaugural Nationwide Series race at Montreal in 2008.
Known nowadays as the clown prince of NASCAR, commentator/team owner/occasional racer Michael Waltrip is more than willing to shed his goofiness and criticize fellow drivers on the track.
For example, take this interview regarding an incident with Clint Bowyer in which both drivers were taken out during the 2008 Nationwide event at Talladega.
Speaking of Bowyer, he's had plenty of quotable lines during his relatively short NASCAR career.
After avoiding a wreck caused by Michael Waltrip at Bristol, Bowyer called him the "worst driver in NASCAR."
In the attached video (about 45 seconds in), he claims that Joe Gibbs Racing's Nationwide cars are too easy to drive.
Brendan Gaughan has never seen great success in the Sprint Cup Series, but he was one solid finish away from the Camping World Truck Series title in 2003.
In a clean race that saw few cautions, Gaughan was caught up in a crash with less than 50 laps to go, ending his chance at a title.
The attached video shows that Gaughan had choice words from owner Jimmy Smith of Ultra Motorsports, who fielded five trucks to support Ted Musgrave's title effort, including one that was involved in the Gaughan crash.
"Kyle Busch is an a--."—Keselowski during driver introductions for the August 2010 Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
That, my readers, is precisely why he shows up on this list.
Carl Edwards, when he isn't doing backflips or celebrating with the fans, has earned a reputation for subtly hinting at what he wants to say during interviews—well, other than the incident with Matt Kenseth at Martinsville a few years ago.
For example, take this interview after the April 2009 Sprint Cup race at Talladega. Instead of attempting to call out Brad Keselowski on-air, he notes that NASCAR forces the drivers into a box without making any obvious suggestions.
Arguably the greatest driver in the history of the Camping World Truck Series, Ron Hornaday has seen his fair share of controversy. Luckily for him, he's been able to walk the walk and talk the talk for most of his career.
For example, take this incident from the November 2004 Nationwide race at Darlington, where he appears to brake-check and take out Greg Biffle and Kyle Busch. Listen to how Hornaday defends himself in this case.
"God D--n! We beat that little son of a b---h!"—Mike Skinner on his radio after holding off Jeff Gordon to win the November 1998 Sprint Cup exhibition race at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan.
Another Camping World Truck driver who is certainly willing to say what is on his mind. After struggles on pit road during a November 2007 event at Phoenix, Skinner told his Bill Davis Racing team that they "weren't a team" during the thick of the title hunt.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Much like his father, Dale Earnhardt Jr. hasn't been one to shy away from the microphone. (Who could forget his dropping of the "s" word after winning at Talladega during the Chase in 2004?)
His in-car chatter is entertaining as well, as he memorably quipped that Daytona International Speedway should put a cone over the hole in the track that caused lengthy delays during the 2010 Daytona 500.
Since he's part of the title of this slideshow, "Smoke" really needs no introduction as to why he's outspoken.
I'll just let the video do the talking.
Thoughts? Comment below.