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The competitive nature enmeshed in most professional sports will often yield a smattering of fisticuffs from time to time, but when it comes to the high-octane action of NASCAR, where cars blitz around tracks at 200 miles per hour, drivers’ anger can redline just as quickly as their engines. When the slightest of nudges can spark a bone-breaking collision or worse, a one-way ticket to the nearest hospital, tensions are primed to explode from the jump. Add in a cavalcade of superstar egos, licking their chops at the thought of payback, it's no wonder that, on occasion, the fireworks fly like on the Fourth of July. Considering it doesn’t take long for trading paint to devolve into trading blows, stock car racing’s seen its fair share of brawls, but only the most wrath-incurring, epic displays make our list of NASCAR’s most famous fights.
Jeff Gordon vs. Jeff Burton – 2010
It’s hard to picture Jeff Gordon losing his cool in any situation, but after Jeff Burton wrecked him at Texas, the look on the Wonderboy’s mug screamed retribution as he stomped over to Burton for his pound of flesh. Gordon may have subsequently grappled like a JV wrestler, but as it goes, the two had to ride in the back of the same ambulance together. In the most importance truce since the Treaty of Versailles, cooler heads must’ve prevailed because Gordon was ready to move on afterward.
"He felt I came up on him and he didn't mean to wreck me," Gordon said, according to Bleacher Report. "I like Jeff, he's a guy who seems pretty rational, and I respect his opinion. He said it was his fault and he said he didn't mean to do it, and whatever, it's over."
Greg Biffle vs. Jay Sauter – 2011
A man can only take so much, and Greg Biffle had had enough. After two incidents on the track at Richmond in September 2001, Biffle practically flew out of his car before throwing a sharp right cross through Jay Sauter’s driver-side window. The best part about the quick scrap is Biffle channeling his inner Spartan warrior as he clacks his fists together just before attacking Sauter. This. Is. Gregory. Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?
Kyle Busch vs. Joey Logano – 2017
What would a list of famous NASCAR fights be if Kyle Busch weren’t on it? After Joey Logano spun Busch’s car out at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March 2017, Busch first tangled with Logano’s crew chief, then marched right up to Logano and punched him square in the kisser. In an instant, Busch was flailing at the bottom of the dog pile, but not for long. In what can only be described as pure “dad strength,” a mustached bear-of-a-NASCAR official ripped Busch’s 185-pound frame free of the chaos. Busch wound up with a bloody gash across his forehead, but had his knight in shining armor not shown up, things could’ve been worse.
Kevin Harvick vs. Greg Biffle – 2002
After some bumping that sent him forcefully into the wall at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2002, Kevin Harvick climbed atop a pit box, biding his time as he contemplated his retaliation against the culprit, Greg Biffle. Before you knew it, Harvick went full spider monkey, leaping down onto Biffle with his hands locked around his collar. Harvick didn’t inflict any serious damage, but he gets a couple brownie points for his athletic dismount off the top ropes.
Casey Mears vs. Marcos Ambrose – 2014
Just like racing, it’s not about how you start the fights – it’s about how you finish them. Marcos Ambrose must’ve finally taken some umbrage at Casey Mears shoving him multiple times after the race at Richmond in 2014 because he rocked Mears with a vicious hook to the noggin. Mears seemed a little shaky as he felt his temple where the punch landed, and lucky for him, a couple crew members pulled Ambrose back before he could wail on Mears any further.
Matt Kenseth vs. Brad Keselowski – 2014
Batman sought his vengeance under the shadow of darkness, and after Brad Keselowski shoved Matt Kenseth into the wall at the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte in 2014, Kenseth took a cue from the Caped Crusader’s playbook and launched his own stealth attack. As Keselowski walked away alone from the track between two vehicle haulers, Kenseth chased him down and wrestled him to the ground in a headlock.
Can't get enough NASCAR action? Watch “Race For The Championship,” which follows the lives of NASCAR's biggest stars on and off the track, Thursdays at 10/9c on USA Network. And you can catch up on the series now on Peacock.
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