Monday, December 21, 2009

The Eighth NASCAR Day of Christmas: Eight Drivers Feuding

NASCAR isn't NASCAR without a feud or two during the season. But alas, now that they're worried about their "brands" and media image, today's drivers are more polished and restrained than they were back in the days of Cale Yarborough and Bobby Allison.

The good news is, when they're pushed enough, drivers can still get ugly. But unlike yesteryear, the ugliness gets shared more on Twitter than in the infield. By my count, there were at least eight feuding drivers of note during 2009. Next year, I'm hoping that number jumps to 10 - and that fans get to see a punch or two in the bargain.

Brad Keselowski vs. Denny Hamlin - or as I like to call it, the feud that keeps on giving. This Nationwide Series rivalry sure did heat up at the end of the season - with Denny calling Brad a no-talent driver and Brad accusing Hamlin of having personal issues. Now that Keselowski is running in Cup full time in 2010, look for the fight to get real interesting.

Juan Pablo Montoya vs. Tony Stewart - Juan Pablo Montoya is one competitive cuss. Not even firebrand Tony Stewart intimidates him. Homestead was proof positive of that. The pair tangled three times during the race and it ended with a worse-for-wear JPM heading back to the track to wreck the No. 14 car. Unfortunately, this feud looks like it died a quick death on the track. The pair was seen joking together during Champions Week in Vegas - how cozy.

Kurt Busch versus Jimmie Johnson - These two tangled in Sonoma and Chicago - and hotheaded Busch let it be known that Johnson was on his hit list. "I'm starting to lose faith in his ability to be a three-time champion on the track," Busch said. "I'm disappointed. I gave him room and we got pounded into the fence." Yet Busch couldn't sustain his vendetta over the long haul. And instead of ruining his rival's hopes for a Championship, he watched from fourth place as Johnson cruised through a history-making season. Wonder if he'll make up for it in 2010?

Greg Biffle versus Joey Logano - Who could pick a fight with Joey Logano? He's like a cross between a golden retriever puppy and a Tiger Beat cover boy. But that's just what Greg Biffle did during the pair's Nationwide foray. A little miffed from previous dustups with the kid, The Biff wrecked Logano on purpose in California, right after radioing to his crew he was planning to do so. But, in an ironic twist of fate, the night ended with Logano in Victory Lane and Biffle left vowing revenge. He never got it.

1 comment:

  1. Feuds that could added:

    - Dale Earnhardt and Brian Vickers tangling early at the Daytona 500, causing a wreck which took out most of the field, half of the frontstretch, and both Nextel girls.

    - Earnhardt and Kyle Busch, who said, after winning Bristol, that he thought popularity was liability in racin' (Earnhardt finished 14th.

    - Kyle Busch and Brian Vickers, who, while squabbling for the lead on the last lap of Michigan's Nationwide race, forgot about Brad Keselowski charging from the rear.

    - Dale Earnhardt versus The Furies, who seemed to have it out for the driver of the No. 88 this year, heaping out the worst dungpile of luck a driver could suffer.

    - And of course, Rowdy versus Sourpuss, I mean Kyle Busch versus Kyle Busch, a two-faced sumbitch who somehow rassles himself, smiling and bowing broadly when he wins and then turning invisible scampering out of his car and off pit road after a loss.