NASCAR Can be an Emotional Sport!
NASCAR…yes, it’s intense. And yes, it is riveting to those who focus on the technicalities and intricacies of race strategy. But it can also be simply entertaining for the casual fan when emotions bubble over in an event. This was the case Saturday night at a Camping World Trucks Series event.
Townley vs. Gallagher
It happened near the end of the “Drivin for Linemen 200” at Gateway Motorsports Park, when John Wes Townley and Spencer Gallagher wrecked (it was the second time the two tangled in the race). After exiting their respective trucks, and while track workers were attending to the vehicles, the two engaged in a somewhat spirited, albeit slow-motioned wrestling match that featured several classic takedowns and even a few punches. Neither appeared worse for the wear after a NASCAR official intervened, but that may change after–or if–the sanctioning body weighs in with penalties.
While the Gateway incident was somewhat contained, with only two participants in the brew-ha-ha, it nevertheless provided race fans a taste of the emotional side of the sport. And while there hasn’t been much of that going on so far in the 2016 season, fighting is not new to NASCAR. In fact, a nationally-televised brawl at the end of the 1979 Daytona 500 is widely credited with launching NASCAR onto the sports world’s main stage.
The Best Fights?
Most veteran NASCAR fans typically have their favorite altercation, and several of them have become ingrained in NASCAR folklore. In the wake of the Gateway incident last weekend, SportingNews.com posted an article ranking the 14 “worst fights in NASCAR.” Here are the top ten from that post:
Donnie Allison, Cale Yarborough – Daytona, 1979
Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski – Texas, 2014
Jimmy Spencer, Kurt Busch – Michigan, 2003
Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Phoenix, 2013
Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards – Charlotte, 2008
Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton – Texas, 2010
Richard Childress, Kyle Busch – Kansas, 2011
Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth – Charlotte, 2014
Marcos Ambrose, Casey Mears – Richmond, 2014
Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne – Chicago, 2004
Details on these noteworthy skirmishes are available via Sporting News’ post, along with video footage. If you recall seeing these incidents when they occurred, or if you can recall any others that did not make this list but perhaps should have, drop us a comment.
What’s Your Opinion?
GimmeInfo would like to know what position NASCAR should take when altercations like the Townley/Gallagher dust-up happen.
- Is it a natural, spontaneous display of emotion in a tense sport and it should be left alone, so long as there are no weapons involved and no serious injuries?
- Or, should NASCAR take a harder line against fisticuffs, with more severe penalties?
What are your thoughts?