Kyle Busch vs. Kevin Harvick and the Top 15 NASCAR Fights in Racing History
It has been just over one week now since Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch's run in with each other at Darlington. After receiving their punishments from NASCAR and talking about the incident again this past weekend at Dover, it appears that this feud is far from over and that the two drivers may never work out their issues with each other.
But where does the Harvick/Busch pit road melee rank among other fights that NASCAR has played host to?
There is no doubt that in the heat of the moment of a race, things will happen, and from time to time fists will fly.
I am going to take a look at 15 fights that, while maybe better suited for a boxing or wrestling ring, actually took place at the race track.
15. Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth
Bristol is a track that can really test a driver's patience and temper. This was proven in 2006 when Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth got into it.
The two drivers had made contact on the track a couple of times, when finally Gordon got by Kenseth. A little later, Kenseth had an opportunity to get back by Gordon and bumped him to get him out of the way.
The contact sent Gordon spinning and resulted in a poor finish for Gordon. After the race, Kenseth went over to talk to him about the incident and Gordon wasn't quite ready for a talk. As soon as he got out of his car, before even taking his helmet off, Gordon shoved Kenseth and began voicing his displeasure.
This was a tame fight, but at the time it was surprising to see these two relatively soft spoken drivers get into a physical confrontation.
14. Denny Hamlin's Crew and Brad Keselowski's Crew
In his brief NASCAR career, Brad Keselowski has already had his fair share of feuds. In this instance, it was with Denny Hamlin.
In this incident from 2008, Hamlin was upset with Keselowski for apparently not giving him enough room out on the race track.
After having enough of it, Hamlin swerved into the side of Keselowski's car under caution, resulting in a caved in fender on the No. 88 car. After the race, the two teams' pit crews got together to discuss the situation a little further.
Some pushing and shoving took place as the two teams each defended their respective drivers.
13. Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart
In the final practice before the Dual races at Daytona in 2000, there was an on-track incident between Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart.
As Gordon was trying to pass Stewart, the two made contact. This sent Gordon's car spinning and resulted in damage to his car.
In the garage area, Gordon went to talk to Stewart about the incident. After saying what he needed to say, Gordon was going to turn to leave when Stewart shoved him. Before Gordon could retaliate, members of Stewart's team jumped between the two drivers and held them at bay.
12. Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton
At last season's second race at Texas, Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton had a memorable altercation. According to Burton, when the caution flag came out, he couldn't get slowed up enough, and in the end ran into Gordon's car. The result put them both into the wall and out of the race.
The real fireworks began after the accident, though. As both drivers got out of their cars and approached one another, Burton wanted to explain himself to Gordon.
Gordon was not ready to hear his explanation and instead opted for a shove to Burton's chest. To make matters worse for the two drivers, they were forced to ride together to the infield care center in the same ambulance.
11. Tony Stewart's Pit Crew and Kasey Kahne's Pit Crew
On a restart at Chicago in 2004, there were multiple pit strategies being played out, resulting in a wild restart. While leading, Kasey Kahne got bumped from behind by Tony Stewart. This triggered a big crash with multiple cars getting taken out.
Down on pit road, Kahne's pit crew made a trip down to Stewart's pit box to discuss the incident with their team. There were not a whole lot of discussions, but instead a bunch of finger pointing and shoves being exchanged by the two teams.
When it was all said and done, the only injury was sustained by a member of Stewart's team, as he received cuts and bruises from a rough landing on ground.
10. Todd Bodine's Crew and David Starr
This incident stems from a truck race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2008. This was not one of David Starr's better race days.
He wrecked three different trucks, all in separate incidents in the race. The third and final truck he took out was Todd Bodine's. After the race, as the trucks were making their way onto pit road, Bodine got side by side with Starr to let him know he didn't appreciate what had happened on the track.
As Bodine was driving away, Starr then drove up alongside Bodine and parked right next to him on pit road. As he was exiting his truck, Bodine's crew came over and got into it with Starr.
Again, a lot of finger pointing and shoving took place, as everyone attempted to get their points across.
9. Kevin Harvick and Juan Montoya
This one was by no means a huge fight, but has always been one of my favorites. Who knew that road racing would be the cause of so much anger?
In this one, Juan Montoya got bumped from behind. That contact forced him into Harvick's car and sent them both spinning. Jeff Burton would also get collected in the incident.
Harvick then drove his car right in front of Montoya's to block him from moving and got out of the car to address the situation. The two drivers then stood helmet to helmet.
Harvick put his hand in Montoya's face and Montoya shoved him a few times to try and get rid of him. The finger pointing and jawing would continue for a couple of minutes.
8. Michael Waltrip and Lake Speed
Here we have another case where one driver feels as if another driver didn't give them enough room on the race track. In this case, Michael Waltrip took exception to the way that Lake Speed was racing him.
Waltrip let his frustration be known immediately following the race. As the cars were coming down pit road, Waltrip parked right in front of Speed and hopped out of his car.
He then proceeded to walk right up to Speed's window and let his fist do his talking for him, twice. Keep in mind that at this point in his career, Waltrip wasn't exactly a household name yet, as he was 0 for 268 in his Sprint Cup career.
7. Robby Gordon and Michael Waltrip
Throughout the course of NASCAR history, there have been many instances where one driver has elected to throw a helmet, or a pair of gloves, or whatever he can find at one of his fellow competitors. Normally, I wouldn't count those in this list, but this particular incident is a classic.
Robby Gordon had his car sent head first into the outside wall off the front bumper of Michael Waltrip. Gordon soon extricated his vehicle and patiently waited.
When Waltrip drove by, Gordon stepped right out onto the track and hurled his helmet at Waltrip's car. The ensuing dialog is what cements this incident on the list.
Waltrip radioed in "that was just rude." That is an all-time great line. Then, Gordon's interview about the situation only added to the greatness. He proceeded to call Waltrip a piece of something that he probably shouldn't have said on the air.
6. Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle
Bristol gets credit for another classic fight. This was a Nationwide incident between Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle.
During the race, the two were fighting for position when Biffle got into the side of Harvick's car and sent him crashing into the wall. Harvick then informed a national television audience that he would be waiting for Biffle when the race was over.
True to his word, as Biffle was parking his car at the end of the race, Harvick leaped over the top of it and confronted Biffle.
As the finger pointing and shoving began, crew members and television cameras swarmed the area, making the spectacle all the more exciting to watch.
5. Kurt Busch and Jimmy Spencer
This was one of better feuds in recent NASCAR history. Kurt Busch and Jimmy Spencer had an issue with each other that spanned many weeks and many different events.
The two drivers swapped paint on numerous occasions, and Busch used the old Bristol bump-and-run on Spencer to score a victory that didn't set too well with Spencer.
We saw wrecks, one driver flashing his backside towards the other, intentional paybacks and even the police got involved. This was a classic feud.
It came to its conclusion when after one race, Busch parked his car outside Spencer's hauler. The two exchanged words, and apparently Spencer punched Busch.
This led to a one-race suspension for Spencer, and the end to a great feud.
4. Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick
This altercation was a long overdue. It started at Homestead at the end of last year. While racing for position, Harvick got into the back of Busch's car and sent him nose first into the inside wall. Safe to say, Busch was not pleased with the end result of the altercation.
That lead us to Darlington just a couple of weeks ago. Late in the race, Busch, Harvick and Clint Bowyer got three wide. They made contact and Bowyer slammed the inside wall. As the caution was displayed, Busch took the opportunity to show his displeasure with Harvick and turned him around, sending him into the outside wall.
Then after the race was over, Harvick went after Busch and followed him onto pit road. He parked right in front of Busch and attempted to throw a punch. As he was doing this, Busch accelerated his car, sending Harvick's car, who was missing its driver, right into the pit wall.
3. Greg Biffle and Jay Sauter
This is a classic case of one driver paying another back for an earlier incident. In this case, Greg Biffle and Jay Sauter had tangled earlier in the race. After making repairs to the car, Sauter came back out with one goal in mind: to take Biffle out. Mission accomplished.
After intentionally crashing Biffle's car, Sauter caught the wrath of an angry driver. Biffle got out of his car, and without any hesitation, walked right up to Sauter's window and delivered a hay maker.
2. Darrell Waltrip's Crew and Rusty Wallace's Crew
The end of the 1989 All-Star race saw Rusty Wallace spin-out Darrell Waltrip en route to collecting the checkered flag. It just goes to show that when you are racing for nothing but money, money will really make you do crazy things.
Neither Waltrip nor any of the members of the Tide pit crew were pleased about the way the race ended, and they let it be known.
As Wallace's car was on its way to victory lane, the two teams had a memorable meeting. It started with a shoulder block and escalated to a brawl for all, with both teams doing an equal amount of finger pointing and shoving.
1. Cale Yarborough and the Allison Brothers
Did you really expect any other fight to be No. 1 on the list? The most famous fight in NASCAR history took place after the first nationally televised race.
The 1979 Daytona 500 was on its last lap and it was a two-car race. Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough were battling for the lead when the two made contact multiple times. Neither driver was able to hang on, and they both went spinning through the infield.
Richard Petty wound up scoring the win, but that is hardly what anyone remembers.
Donnie's brother Bobby made his way to the infield where the other two drivers remained parked, and from there helmets began to fly and fists began to be thrown.
The ending to this race is still one of the most talked about moments in NASCAR history, and with good reason.