By admin | June 6, 2010
By Richard Allen
Perhaps not since Cale Yarborough and the Allison brothers wrestled in the Daytona mud has there been so much talk of feuds and rivalries as there has been in the 2010 NASCAR season.
The Gillette Fusion 500 at the Pocono Raceway provided very little excitement in its first 150 laps but the final stages of the race created quite a stir among fans and competitors alike. Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick provided one set of fireworks while teammates Kasey Kahne and A.J. Allmendinger proved more.
As the cars raced toward the white flag, Logano and Harvick were battling for position within the top-5. Going into turn 3 the two cars touched and Logano went for a long slide. Harvick finished 4th while Logano wound up 13th when he appeared destined for no worse than 5th.
After the race, Logano parked his car next to that of Harvick and got out of his machine in a heated rush. By that time there were a number of crew members surrounding the two drivers. After an aggravated gesture by Loganoâ€™s father, the 20 year old driver went toward Harvick and offered up some angry shouts at the current Sprint Cup points leader. Eventually, they went their separate ways with no real harm done.
However, that was not the end of it. After a call to the dreaded NASCAR hauler, Logano delivered a verbal haymaker toward Harvick. â€œI donâ€™t know what his problem is with me but itâ€™s probably not his fault,â€ he said. â€œHis wife wears the fire suit in the family and tells him what to do.â€
No doubt, that wonâ€™t be taken well or forgotten. What will make this little feud even more interesting is that it could have a significant impact on the Chase for the Championship, depending on when any paybacks might occur. As said before, Harvick leads the standings, and at 17th, Logano is still in contention for a top-12 spot.
This was not the first time these two have had issues. Logano was sent on a similar ride at the end of a Nationwide Series race in Bristol earlier this year.
While all of that was going on, more drama was playing out elsewhere. During the green/white/checkered finish, Kasey Kahne was forced to the grass by Richard Petty Motorsports teammate A.J. Allmendinger. The resulting spin for the #9 car sent Kahne spinning into the path of a gaggle of oncoming cars, and he was hit by just about every one of them.
Kahne voiced his displeasure about being forced to the grass when he had a strong run going and looked poised to gain several positions. Instead, he ended up with a disappointing 27th and a destroyed race car.
Allmendinger was apologetic for the result of his last lap actions. He finished 10th.
The feuds and animosity played out so far this season have been one of, if not the, storyline of NASCAR 2010. In what appeared at first to be a race that would do little to perpetuate that, Pocono actually added to the drama.
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Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.
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