I'd say NASCAR's 'boys have at it' policy is certainly spicing things up, to the extent that even Jimmie Johnson is getting involved. While it is all well and good when drivers handle their disagreements, the owners are probably wishing it would not happen within their own organizations. But for the rest of us, we get an extra element of excitement and suspense.
Saturday's Nationwide race held another example of discord between teammates when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. practically vowed to wreck Carl Edwards when he got back to his bumper. While I'm glad his team redirected his attention to taking the lead, I was still sitting on the edge of my seat to see what would happen once they got close to each other again. Given Carl's comments after the race, the conflict clearly wasn't on his side especially since he is the Cup driver stepping down and possibly messing up Ricky's chance to win the championship. Still, the way the race ended seemed appropriate with both of their cars sitting in a jumbled mess at the finish line. While Jack Roush more than likely isn't pleased, he can at least be thankful they finished 1-2 and that it wasn't them racing each other overly hard.
Not to be outdone though, Kyle Busch took things to a different level with Denny Hamlin on Sunday. I am not a big fan of pulling over to let your teammate lead a lap anyway, but I was absolutely shocked when the audio of Kyle asking to be handed the lead. Denny's reaction was the same as mine, and if I were him, I would not have let Kyle go. If Kyle is as good as he has proved himself to be, then he should just go up and take the lead all by himself. And after Denny did let him by, taking off to the distance he did was a major breach of teammate etiquette. That was very irresponsible of Kyle to take advantage of the situation like that, and oh how I would have loved to be in that team meeting after the race!
And then there is Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson. Kurt seems to be inheriting the role Kyle held a few years ago, lashing out at anyone nearby when things don't go well. His run-in with Jimmie Johnson was really just hard racing, but I'm taking the five time Champion's side on this one. He had been working hard to pass Kurt and was able to do it cleanly. Yeah, he wobbled a little bit but Kurt's split second reaction to slam into the side of Jimmie's car was kind of extreme. The rivalry that seems to be blossoming is just the kind of thing NASCAR needs to draw in more interest.
So with another road course race coming up, there is plenty of possibility to have more fireworks ignited on track. Juan Pablo Montoya and Kevin Harvick are sure to be in close proximity, and there is always the chance that Brian Vickers and Tony Stewart may reignite their Infineon feud. Or we may end up with a completely unexpected pairing. And that doesn't even begin to address the Nationwide series. Jason Leffler hasn't kept it a secret that he has a problem with Steve Wallace, and if Carl Edwards rubs Ricky Stenhouse Jr. the wrong way again, the situation could get very interesting. Who do you think will wind up with more than damaged fenders after Watkins Glen? If there is one thing that is certain, it will be an eternity before everyone can get along, and that is a very good thing for us as fans.
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