For a guy who's got a rep as a bit of a fancy man, Jeff Gordon gets in more than his share of scraps. (Maybe those two are connected.) Despite his less-than-manly-man rep, borne out of the fact that Gordon was the last serious rival to Dale Earnhardt, the manliest man that ever was a man.
So, yeah, fighting is a good way to toughen up your rep. Except, of course, if you make a major tactical error, as Gordon did when challenging Matt Kenseth after the Food City 500 in 2006 at Bristol. See if you can find the point where Gordon screws up badly:
Oh, Jeff. Look, if you're shorter than most people, don't go stalking somebody in a helmet. You look like you're going trick-or-treating.
That incident stuck in Gordon's head; he remembered to take it off earlier this year when he went at Jeff Burton in Texas. Though if he'd head-butted Burton with the helmet, that would have been a whole new kind of awesome.