NASCAR »

Road rage sparks fireworks among drivers

Then there was the case of Juan Montoya, who did nothing to dispel the crude stereotype of "hot blooded Latin temperament" when the red mist descended late in the race. He seemed determined to work his way to the front no matter what the cost to those around him, gaining multiple positions after the final round of pit stops until on lap 97 he came up on the back of Kasey Kahne going into the turn 2 right-hander. Kahne wasn't about to let him through, and Montoya forced him off onto the grass - losing positions himself as a result.

“Montoya just drove through me at the top of the hill. That was obvious,” Kahne said. “I got hit from behind, just driving into the corner. He got mad because I beat him into turn one when he was beside me in turn 11. So he got mad and just wrecked me in 2.”

Montoya regrouped and tried to make his way back up the field again, only to come up against Brad Keselowski a few minutes later. The two of them went into turn 3 side-by-side with Kyle Busch immediately behind them, Montoya having the inside line and allowing the #42 to drift out forcing Keselowski to put two wheels onto the dirt. Keselowski took exception and sent Montoya for a spin.

"I don't take any pride in all that stuff, but at some point, you've got to run your own deal," Keselowski said. "It was pretty obvious that it was eat or be eaten, and I wasn't going to be eaten."

"We got through the corner, and I just got on his bumper a little bit and moved him a little," Montoya admitted, but said he didn't deserve to get spun in revenge. "Got a good run, and I guess he didn't like it ... he just plain and simple wrecked us." Although he recovered to the track in 12th place, "I just killed the tyres when I spun," and he ended up 22nd by the end.

Perhaps the driver with most reason to be angry about the incident was Kyle Busch, who had no where to go when Montoya and Keselowski crashed and who followed the #42 off onto the dirt for a spin. However, Kyle seems determined to lower his controversial public profile at the moment and fly under the radar, and his comments were conspicuously inconspicuous: "We were like a fourth- or fifth-place car. We had the opportunity to finish there, but unfortunately with about five to go we were involved in a few others wreck and spun out," he said as blandly as possible. "Gathered it back up and got going again, probably fell back to 15th, but salvaged an 11th out of the thing. We'll take it and go on."

Strangely, given that it was the headline bout of the weekend, the one on-track battle that generated least off-track heat was the one between Brian Vickers and Tony Stewart. Good friends off the track, they seemed to regard their altercation at Infineon with a large dose of professional distance - just one of those things that had to be done for the job, but which they took no pleasure or satisfaction in.

"I've been complaining about the way guys have been racing all year," Stewart said after propelling Vickers down into turn 11 and into a multi-car collision and spin on lap 39. "I like Brian. I'm not holding it against him at all. I don't care if it was [my team mate] Ryan Newman; I would have dumped him, too. If they want to block, that's what is going to happen to them every time for the rest of my career."

"I wasn't blocking him. That may have been his perception from where he was sitting, but the #18 went off the race track in front of me," Vickers said in response. "He was going off in the dirt and then coming back in front of me on the race track, and I was trying to avoid him ... I think when [Stewart] sees the replay and he realises why I went low - if he looks at it out of my front windshield - he'll realise it had nothing to do with him. It had to do with the #18 almost wrecking me, and a couple of other guys running slow up top."

But that didn't stop Vickers cooly setting up a revenge encounter at the same point on lap 87, barging Stewart so hard that the #14 spun backwards onto the top of the tyre wall.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Juan Pablo Montoya and Brad Keselowski race door handle to door handle as Kyle Busch waits to see what develops on Sunday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. [Picture Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Brian Vickers’ #83 Toyota looks nothing like the way it did at the start of Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 after Vickers’ run-in with Tony Stewart on Lap 37. Vickers paid back Stewart on Lap 87. Vickers finished 36th, Stewart 39th. [Photo credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images]
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, qualified for twelfth position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. After a three-race absence, Tony Stewart has returned to the track at Atlanta. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, qualified for third position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Larson is 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Tony Stewart at Dover International Speedway on May 30 2014. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR Media)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS, finished eighth and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, finished 35th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished fifth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, finished fourth and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finished twelfth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and his team celebrate in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Doublemint Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 STP Ford, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 ENEOS Chevrolet, is involved in an incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.