NASCAR Sprint Cup: Ranking the Top 7 Current Rivalries on and off the Track
Rivalries, they are sewn into the very fiber of NASCAR. While we don't have rivalries today like we did in the past (Waltrip-Earnhardt, anyone?), there are still some fun and interesting ones to watch as the season progresses. Let's take a look at the top seven current rivalries that we are seeing on and off the track right now.
No. 7: Ford vs. Chevy
The rivalry has always been there, both Ford and Chevy have tried to dominate the track (something that Chevy has done quite well lately) for ages in NASCAR. With seven cars from these two makers in the top 10 in points, it is obvious these two still dominate the scene, even with new entries into the NASCAR world, keeping the rivalry strong.
With the arrival of Toyota to the scene and Dodge also on the track, this rivalry isn't quite as crazy since Toyota has also joined the fight but diehard fans still have the Ford or Chevy rivalry going on. You can't root for Chevy if you are a Ford fan and you can't root for Ford if you are a Chevy fan, that's just how it goes and will always be.
So all you people out there that are fans of drivers in both makes, it's time for you to choose, you can't be a fan of both when it comes to NASCAR.
No. 6: Jeff Gordon vs. Jimmie Johnson
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While this rivalry isn't broadly announced throughout the garage, everyone knows it is there. Jeff Gordon brought Jimmie Johnson to the Hendrick camp in 2002 and Johnson has dominated, leaving Gordon in the shadows.
To make it worse, Gordon hasn't won a championship since Johnson joined the team and has even struggled a few years while Johnson has obviously flourished and become the star team at HMS.
Last season, Gordon made a few comments about Johnson's driving with perhaps the calmest being about Johnson testing his patience.
One has to wonder how much longer Gordon is going to let his teammate take the limelight from him.
No. 5: Roush vs. Hendrick
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A battle that started out as a Ford vs. Chevy rivalry has quickly left that in the dust as Roush Fenway Racing and Hendrick Motorsports battle it out on the track every week.
Sure, you have the usual suspects for other teams in the Chase like the Busch Brothers but Jimmie Johnson's biggest threat to the Championship this year looks to be Carl Edwards (who currently leads Johnson by seven points) and five cars from these teams take up spots in the top 10 in points.
Roush and Hendrick have battled it out year after year and look to do the same this year. What may have started out as a rivalry between makes has turned into a team rivalry that may be one for the ages.
No. 4: Richard Childress vs. Kyle Busch
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Richard Childress has had enough and he let Kyle Busch know it this season. After Busch wrecked multiple RCR cars (two in his confrontation with Kevin Harvick when Clint Bowyer also wrecked during the on-track portion of that night) and then tapped another RCR car after a race at Kansas, Childress went after the driver.
The rivalry seems to be done for the moment between Busch and RCR drivers but the rivalry between car owner and driver may only be on a temporary leave until next season when Childress is off of probation. I have a feeling Busch will be hiding the first few times he sees Childress on the track next year just in case this fight isn't over.
No. 3: Tony Stewart vs. the Rest of the Field
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Tony Stewart made it clear once again that he's not putting up with anything on the track and this time Brian Vickers got the boot. After the race, Stewart gave warning to all drivers that if they try to block him, he's wrecking them.
"I've been complaining about the way guys have been racing all year. I like Brian; I'm not holding it against him at all. I don't care if it was [teammate] Ryan Newman, I would have dumped him, too. If they want to block that's what is going to happen to them every time for the rest of my career." Stewart told Scenedaily.com.
Stewart has been somewhat quiet on the rivalry front lately so it was about time for him to stir things up and that's exactly what it looks like he's aiming to do.
No. 2: Kevin Harvick vs. Kyle Busch
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While the Kevin Harvick vs. Kyle Busch rivalry appears to be over for a time being with a handshake at Sonoma after their five week probation, Kevin Harvick sure didn't seem to think so.
After the picture was posted of the two shaking hands, someone asked him on twitter if the feud was over, Kevin Harvick tweeted "no" in reply.
It seems that Kyle Busch was eager to put the rivalry behind him as soon as possible but Kevin Harvick may not be so willing to join Busch beside the campfire to sing Kumbaya anytime soon.
No. 1: Ryan Newman vs. Juan Pablo Montoya
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While the continuing rivalry between Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya was overshadowed the last time it was seen on the track by the Harvick vs. Busch affair, it is still ongoing and probably won't go away for a while.
It also apparently brought a fine to Ryan Newman when he punched Montoya during a NASCAR meeting according to thecabin.net.
"Ryan Newman was reportedly fined $50,000 in May for socking Juan Pablo Montoya in the mouth during a meeting with NASCAR, which was trying to get both drivers to resolve their ongoing problems." Don Coble reported.
Montoya has had issues with many drivers in the past, including Newman's teammate Tony Stewart so I expect this rivalry will spice up the track for quite a while.