Nascar brawls

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Kyle Busch vs. Kevin Harvick and the Top 15 NASCAR Fights in Racing History

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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.


Opinion: Driver fights bring buzz to NASCAR but also judgment calls from crew members, officials

After Joey Logano’s tire specialist slammed Denny Hamlin to the ground amid a scrap following the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, Hamlin popping up uninjured appears as one of the biggest moments in the playoffs.

If Hamlin had suffered an injury when he hit the Martinsville Speedway pavement, a 2019 title favorite would have seen one of his best shots for a championship come to an end.

While Hamlin didn’t suffer an injury, the debate remains on how NASCAR can balance driver-to-driver fights – which combat the perception the drivers are not as tough as those back in the rough-and-tumble days of the sport , with how much crews should get involved in a fracas.

After the Hamlin-Logano scuffle, NASCAR had a decision to make. Just a week earlier, a Cole Custer crew member pulled Tyler Reddick to the ground during their shoving match following the Xfinity Series race at Kansas. NASCAR issued no penalties.

Determining the move Sunday on Hamlin to be more aggressive and forceful, NASCAR suspended Logano tire technician Dave Nichols Jr. for one race. However, it didn’t fine Nichols, even though NASCAR’s rules give it the leeway to fine him up to $100,000.

Crew members seperate Joey Logano, far left, and Denny Hamlin, botom right, during an altercation on pit lane following the First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Losing a veteran tire specialist for a race won’t help Logano's No. 22 Team Penske crew, but a one-race suspension doesn’t rank as a huge penalty. And NASCAR seemed almost apologetic, with chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell telling SiriusXM he didn’t feel Nichols meant to slam Hamlin down hard but more just wanted to prevent Hamlin from throwing punches at Logano.

By making it a judgment call, NASCAR will continue to face decisions on crew member involvement in fights.

Three races remain in the season as the Cup Series heads this weekend to Texas Motor Speedway, the site of one of its biggest brawls in the last decade when Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski tangled in a 2014 fight that resulted in three crew members receiving six-week bans and another given three weeks off. That incident has pretty much kept crew members from throwing punches, especially at drivers.

NASCAR’s decision-making from Kansas and Martinsville indicates that a crew member can grab and yank an opposing driver away to break up a fight as long as that driver doesn’t fall hard to the ground. With that philosophy, they should hope the opponent is one of the stocky drivers (Ryan Newman comes to mind) who would be difficult to forcefully tackle.

The easy answer for NASCAR: Implement a “third man rule” – that any crew member who gets in the middle of a fight earns a suspension. But the easy route doesn’t always mean the best route, and making that rule would seem myopic when looking at the bigger picture.

NASCAR can’t afford, after it works so hard on safety aspects inside the car, to have a driver miss a race because of a black eye or a broken nose or a broken hand thanks to a fistfight. While many would love to see  the drivers rumble and throw punches and have officials not break them up until they fall to the ground, the risk of injury outweighs the visuals.

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Unless NASCAR wants to triple the number of officials on pit road following a race, it doesn’t have enough officials to break up a fight. The people best equipped to break up a fight? Crew members. But how many and who?

Maybe NASCAR can say two crew members can help break up a fight, and teams can designate those crew members on their crew roster prior to the race weekend. Those two crew members can be close enough to the cars after the race. That way, race teams can put people they feel are strong enough but also can use good enough judgment not to hurt the other driver.

If anyone else gets involved, it has to be more than a one-race suspension, and NASCAR needs to consider crew chief suspensions — a crew member might think twice for seeking to fight if it would impact that crew member’s boss. NASCAR also would have to be cognizant that suspending several people from a team for the same race can turn into a safety issue for some of the smaller teams in the sport.

Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage already has Hamlin-Logano posters on social media stating “Do Ya Wanna Go,” quoting part of the conversation between Logano and Hamlin postrace Martinsville. Hey, it’s promotion.

NASCAR will use the fight to promote the next race and the next race and many more, so obvious it enjoys the rage. But it still must figure out how to handle it once they do go.

Bob Pockrass is a FOX Sports NASCAR reporter. Follow him @bobpockrass.

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WATCH: Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski Involved in the Wildest Brawl in NASCAR at Texas

Back in 2014, an incident between Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon led to a highly uncharacteristic moment for Gordon. For a long time, Gordon was considered one of the classiest drivers, but he also had his fair share of brawls. Like most NASCAR drivers, when the red mist hit, it hit hard.


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During a playoff race at the Texas Motor Speedway, Keselowski barged past Gordon and gave the #24 car a puncture. With three wheels left on his wagon, Gordon lost control and spun out. This put him all the way in 29th place, while Brad Keselowski enjoyed the 3rd place.


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Jeff Gordon felt that the contact was intentional and stormed to confront Keselowski when the race concluded. Safe to say, it was not a pretty sight, as angry shouts soon dissolved into fisticuffs as expected of a NASCAR post-race confrontation. There was so much chaos that people had a hard time separating the two men among the sea of bodies.

Jeff Gordon was furious with Brad Keselowski after their NASCAR race


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Speaking after the race, Jeff Gordon said, “I just got slammed by the #2 [Brad Keselowski] and it cut my left rear tyre. He’s just a dips**t, you know. The way he races, I don’t know how he won a championship. I’m just sick and tired of him and that is why everybody’s fighting him and running him down. Your emotions are high and that was a huge race for us.”

He insisted that he had a good car under him and was proud of the team. Jeff Gordon even praised Jimmie Johnson for winning the race. On the subject of the confrontation, he insisted that there was no use talking it out with Brad Keselowski. It is worth noting that Gordon also sported a bloody lower lip while talking to the media.


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Fast-forward to 2020, and Brad Keselowski has matured a lot since that incident. He heads into the 2020 race at Texas, right in the thick of the playoff battle.



Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.




The most exciting NASCAR fights!!!!

The five greatest fights in NASCAR history

The 2014 NASCAR season has been perhaps the most chaotic in the sport’s history, and fights have been breaking out left and right as the new playoff format has put an immense amount of pressure on drivers. Where do the recent scuffles rank among the biggest fights in NASCAR history? Glad you asked.

5. Robby Gordon vs. Michael Waltrip, 2005

Robby Gordon was fined $25k, and docked 25 driver points and 25 owner points for this remarkably dumb move after he was wrecked by Waltrip at New Hampshire. Gordon climbed out of his car, walked back onto the track, with cars passing him left and right, and tried to toss his helmet through Waltrip’s window net.

4. Matt Kenseth vs. Brad Keselowski, 2014

Keselowski’s first memorable fight of the season came at Charlotte, after he made contact with Denny Hamlin, Kenseth and Tony Stewart after the race was over.

Bonus points for fighting between the haulers, which is a pretty original location. This is like a backstage WWE match.

3. Tony Stewart vs. Joey Logano, 2013

During a race at Calfornia last season, Denny Hamlin suffered a compression fracture in his back and was sent to the hospital after a crash with Joey Logano, who had quite an eventful day. In the closing laps, Logano blocked Stewart on the final restart. After the race, Stewart found Logano on pit road and started a brawl.

2. Jeff Gordon vs. Brad Keselowski, 2014

Jeff Gordon’s title hopes took a hit Sunday in Texas after contact with Brad Keselowski gave Gordon a flat tire and dashed his chances of winning. Gordon was furious that Keselowski tried to thread the needle after a restart (Keselowski said he simply “saw a hole”), and tensions bubbled over after the race on pit road.

This fight gets a boost because of the clear title implications, the ferocity of the fight, and Kevin Harvick’s mischievous shove that sparked the whole thing.


The fracas left Keselowski and Gordon looking like boxers.

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Getty Images

1. Cale Yarborough vs. Donnie Allison, 1979

Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough tangled on the backstretch on the last lap of the 1979 Daytona 500, taking each other out of the race and handing the victory to Richard Petty.

Yarborough had already won two Daytona 500s (and would go on to win two more), but Allison never took the checkers in the sport’s biggest race. After the two cars came to rest, Allison and Yarborough traded punches in what will forever be one of the most famous moments in NASCAR history.


Brawls nascar

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Kyle Busch Fights on Pit Road - 2017 LAS VEGAS - NASCAR on FOX

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