NASCAR: The Most Awkward Moments Caught on National Television
Awkward moments in NASCAR are rare, but they are still fun to watch. Sure, they are cringe-inducing, painful, humiliating and facepalm-worthy, but they also make for great conversation pieces around the toolbox at work.
"What did you think of Jimmie going down to give Kurt a piece of his mind?"
"I just wish they would've thrown a few punches if anything. They stand around and shout too much."
Here is a list of the most awkward moments in NASCAR caught on camera.
10. Kyle Busch, Bristol 2007
Kyle Busch's 2007 win at Bristol was historic for many reasons. For starters, it was the 200th win for Hendrick Motorsports (in all series). It was also the 600th win for Chevrolet. But more importantly, Busch was able to put his name in the books as the first winner in the new Car of Tomorrow.
The CoT had been building hype for the past year and was going to be the answer to everything. It was supposed to be more comfortable, safer and easier to drive. There would be no more changes anytime soon, one would have thought.
The Food City 500 didn't disappoint either. Beating, banging, plenty of crashes and an exciting finish as Kyle Busch barely held off Jeff Burton for career win No. 4.
Cue the donuts! Cue the celebration! Cue the praises for the CoT!
Actually, nix the praises.
After Busch stepped out of his blue-and-yellow Hendrick Chevy, he gave the usual winner's interview and closed his interview with this parting gift: "I'm still not a very big fan of these things. I can't stand to drive them. They suck."
Cue the groans! Cue the shock! Cue the facepalm!
9. Kyle Busch, Darlington 2011
There was a time when a driver-versus-driver altercation was fun to watch. Fans would salivate at the idea of front-row seats to a pit road scuffle.
Would they be there to see an all-out war like Tony Stewart's crew throwing punches with Kasey Kahne's crew? Would it be a one-on-one fight like the series of confrontations between Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle?
Things changed when Kyle Busch came along. The 2011 Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington proved that.
Late in the going, Harvick found his Budweiser Chevy mired back in traffic after running up front all night. It wouldn't be a problem, as a little aggressive driving on his behalf would do the trick.
But Kyle Busch wasn't too pleased with Harvick and showed it by turning him headfirst down the frontstretch.
What was he thinking?
8. Carl Edwards/Matt Kenseth, Martinsville 2007
Physically speaking, Carl Edwards is a beast. On the other end, Matt Kenseth is a quiet man who would rather let his right foot do all the talking. Both aren't shy about executing some high-speed payback, but when it comes to throwing down, Edwards tends to rise up, while Kenseth's way of shying back is painful to watch.
In the Nationwide race at Kansas in 2007, the two teammates made contact with each other, which sent Edwards headfirst into the wall. Edwards, who was the Nationwide points leader, let Kenseth know his displeasure by sarcastically applauding him while standing next to his wrecked Fusion.
The next week, the tension between the two came to a head after a tumultuous encounter on track at Martinsville.
7. Broadcast Booth, Daytona 1987
When the white flag waved during the 1987 Firecracker 400, Bobby Allison was leading by a large margin. However, NASCAR scoring had him mired near the back of the pack.
This caused confusion among the broadcasters that transcended into Laurel and Hardy country. Even after Ken Schrader executed a high-speed flip down the tri-oval, those commentating were still stuck discussing having to redo the broadcast.
6. Kyle Busch, Texas 2008
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. loves Texas. Texas loves Dale Jr. in return.
Someone forgot to tell Kyle Busch that after Dale Jr. knocked him off of the front row.
Busch still had a strong car, so why he felt the need to whine about Dale Jr. being filmed after his pole-winning run, no one knows. Try not to cover your ears before the video ends because Busch's gripe is cringe-inducing, as he sounds more like a petulant child than like the animal he is behind the wheel.
5. Kurt Busch, Richmond 2011
When the Sprint Cup series concluded its September 2011 event at Richmond, many fans were expecting the Jimmie Johnson/Kurt Busch feud to boil over and some fists to be thrown. Multiple incidents happened between the two, so there was never any doubt.
Instead, Busch proceeded to get into a confrontation with Joe Menzer from NASCAR.com, and then he got into a confrontation with another reporter during the interviews in the media center.
4. Kurt Busch, Michigan 2003
Who can forget the August 2003 event at Michigan? Rather than being known as one of Ryan Newman's eight wins that season, or for the terrifying accident involving Todd Bodine's Ford and Kenny Wallace's Dodge, it happens to be known for Jimmy Spencer's fist trading paint with Kurt Busch's nose.
In the beginning, Kurt Busch that the contact was innocuous and that he ran out of gas behind Spencer's hauler, but this audio dispelled every one of those notions.
3. Todd Bodine/Kyle Busch, Kentucky 2010
When Todd Bodine and Kyle Busch were racing side-by-side, Busch's truck took the air off of Bodine's spoiler, causing Bodine to loop his Toyota. However, the spin led to a win. Bodine could have thanked his crew and "thanked" Busch for being in the right place at the right time.
Instead, he took a dig at Busch, which led to Busch crashing the party in Victory Lane. Bodine's comments were pointless, but the endgame was fun to watch.
2. Mike Stefanik, Daytona 2013
Mike Stefanik was leading the UNOH Battle at the Beach on Daytona's backstretch when he was turned on the last lap by "Mr. Nice Guy" Steve Park. Park would go on to win, while Stefanik was left to seethe.
Park seemed apologetic, saying that he was pushed into Stefanik. But as the above interview shows, Stefanik wasn't buying it.
Enjoy the interview that says so much with so little.
1. 50 Cent/Erin Andrews, Daytona 2013
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson wears many hats. He's a musician, an actor, an author, a businessman and even a boxing manager. So his appearance at this year's Daytona 500 was very high profile. But it was his pursuit of Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews that made headlines.
Prior to the race, Andrews perused pit road providing viewers with interviews from various drivers and dignitaries. But like a No. 1 hit shot out of the studio, Jackson shot out of the crowd to meet with Andrews.
With the single-minded focus of Glen Quagmire, he wasted no time and zeroed in for the smooch. Andrews first faked left, then right, as Jackson was left to kiss her cheek.
Andrews looked for an escape, asking Jackson a few questions to keep her air of professionalism, but he followed her through the crowd like a two-car tandem down Daytona's backstretch.
The kiss would make headlines. It wasn't a shining moment for those involved, but it was one of the most ridiculous.