By admin | October 9, 2008
By Richard Allen
Rain caused a cancellation of qualifying for the Bank of America 500 but there was plenty of excitement none the less.
Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick had some remaining “issues” left over from last week in Talladega to resolve. According to witnesses Edwards approached Harvick in the Nationwide garage area at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The two began what was referred to as a heated argument.
Apparently, as Harvick turned to walk away Edwards grabbed him. Harvick retaliated with a shove and a rugby style scrum ensued. No punches were thrown but perhaps a headlock was applied along with some pushing and shoving.
The incident is the after product of “The Big One” late in the race at Talladega. Harvick apparently still harbored some hard feelings over the wreck caused by Edwards which resulted in numerous cars, including Harvick’s, being damaged. Edwards apparently still harbored some resentment over what Harvick had to say after the incident in question.
“I know that his fans won’t be very proud of him sitting back there riding around like a pansy,” Harvick said when interviewed by an ABC reporter. “If he had been racing all day, maybe he would have known how long the front of his car was.”
Edwards took exception to that comment and apparently went so far as to leave a note in Harvick’s plane.
This is not the first incident of this sort for either driver.
Last year in Martinsville Edwards was caught on video throwing a punch which he held back on at the last second toward his own teammate, Matt Kenseth. He also threatened to make Tony Stewart bleed after a run in between the two in Pocono. And, he once went to victory lane after a Michigan Nationwide Series race to confront Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Harvick was involved in an incident with Greg Biffle in which he jumped from the top of a car and then proceeded to go nose to nose with his rival after a Nationwide Series race in Bristol. He once was involved in a heated shouting match with veteran driver Ricky Rudd after a Richmond bumping match.
Harvick and his wife were knocked to the ground by a crewman from another team as they walked down pit road after a race in Texas.
Indeed, this is not the first rodeo for either of these two cowboys.
While some may view such an incident as the childish actions of two men acting like boys, it is the stuff NASCAR was built on. NASCAR was “made” when Cale Yarborough and the Allison brothers tangled after the 1979 Daytona 500, the first nationally televised flag to flag race.
NASCAR needs emotion, intensity and passion. These two drivers were demonstrating the fact that they care. This sport has recently been compared to professional wrestling in the fact that the sanctioning body is inconsistent in their enforcement of rules and thus appear to play favorites.
In this case, wrestling was involved but it was a moment of passion and emotion, not controversy over a rule interpretation.
Yes, it was probably a bit childish. But consider, sports are supposed to bring out the child in all of us.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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