The feuds and fights during the 2010 Sprint Cup season may not live up to the Busch-Spencer feud right away. But this year brought us cars flying through the air, intentional crashes, some great smack talk and even two drivers getting physical on the backstretch — all leaving plenty of potential for some of 2010's fights to carry over.
If there is one tussle that could match or exceed the standard set by Spencer and Busch, it's Carl Edwards vs. Brad Keselowski. That started at Talladega in 2009 when Keselowski inadvertently sent Edwards into the fence as the two were racing for the win. In Atlanta in March, Edwards returned the airborne favor:
After Edwards was put on probation, the feud simmered until Gateway in July when the two were racing for the lead in a Nationwide race:
Since then, Edwards and Keselowski have played nice, though Keselowski quickly regained another rival in Kyle Busch at Bristol:
Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth rekindled their feud at Martinsville, and just like many movie franchises, the sequel wasn't nearly as good as the original. The original started at Bristol in 2006 when Gordon shoved Kenseth — with his helmet on! — after contact between the two. Later that year, Kenseth got his revenge, dumping Gordon for the win at Chicagoland.
At Martinsville in 2010, Kenseth got into the back of Gordon and Gordon wasn't too happy about it. On the next set of corners, Gordon made sure that Kenseth wasn't going to get near victory lane.
"The 17 got into the back of me," Gordon said. "I made sure he wasn't going to win the race after that."
Gordon — who is a recurring character in our recap — and Jimmie Johnson became an unlikely duo to feud, but after the spring Texas and Talladega events Gordon said that his patience had worn thin with the now five-time champion.
Harvick and Logano started squabbling at the spring Nationwide race at Bristol — the site of Harvick's car leap towards Greg Biffle — and it carried over to Pocono, when Harvick sent Logano spinning as the two were racing for fifth place.
Harvick said that Logano didn't give him much room when they raced, but Logano fired back exponentially bigger and better.
"...he let me go in the middle of the straightaway and decided to dump me in the next turn," Logano said. "I don't know what his deal is with me. It's probably not his fault. His wife wears the firesuit in the family and tells him what to do. It's probably not his fault."
Quote. Of. The. Year.
Logano went on to call Harvick "apparently stupid," but the pit lane confrontation was more glitz than substance, though Tom Logano's encouragement of his son made for some great television.
Gordon got back into the fray a week later at Sonoma, apparently mistaking the front bumper of his car for a battering ram.
He especially drew the ire of Martin Truex Jr., who was on the receiving end of one of Gordon's bumper shots. That bumper shot didn't end Truex's day, but it put him back in the pack and in the middle of a clusterwreck that brought out the red flag.
Check back with us on Wednesday for Part 2 of the best fights and rivalries of 2010. Here's a hint: Gordon and Logano make multiple appearances in the second segment.
- Jimmy Spencer