The high speeds and tight quarters at Bristol Motor Speedway tend to increase the intensity and cause tempers to flare a little more than at other tracks.
With the Sprint Cup Series going there for the fourth race of the season, drivers might not be able to keep their tempers in check this weekend on the 0.533-mile, high-banked concrete oval.
NASCAR drivers tend to have long memories, and recent run-ins with another driver or a past incident at Bristol could already have them on edge.
Here are the top feuds that could be reignited this weekend at Bristol:
Kyle Busch vs. Carl Edwards
This is where their feud pretty much began a couple of years ago when they traded paint and bumped each other during a battle for the lead, leading to a heated confrontation on the cool-down lap when Busch slammed his car into Edwards’ and Edwards retaliated by spinning him. The run-in included a colorful exchange of words after the race.
Most recently, the two made contact at Phoenix, an accident that caused Edwards to wreck after starting on the pole and leading the early part of the race. Busch took the blame for the incident.
The two talked after the Phoenix race and vowed to let the incident slide, but this is Bristol, and we’ll find out for sure if it’s really over by how they race each other on the track.
Kyle Busch vs. Brad Keselowski
Last August in the Nationwide Series race at Bristol, Keselowski bumped Busch to take the lead and then Busch spun Keselowski to take it back and roll to the victory.
Busch was non-repentant for the spin, saying that Keselowski – on probation at the time because of his run-ins with Edwards – tends to bring such things on himself.
“I went down into the next corner and dumped him,” Busch said. “He does it to everybody else. Why can’t I do it to him?”
Keselowski responded by calling Busch “an ass” during driver introductions prior to the Cup race the following night.
There is no love lost between the two, and Busch initially was not happy that Keselowski didn’t give him any room during the Nationwide race at Las Vegas last week when Busch wrecked. But after watching the replay, Busch took the blame saying his daring move just didn’t work.
Busch, Keselowski and Edwards all will have two chances to go after each other this weekend since they will run in both the Nationwide and Cup events at the track.
Brad Keselowski vs. Carl Edwards
That they will race each other twice could mean that these two get together again. It was a year ago at Bristol where Edwards and Keselowski were summoned to the NASCAR hauler for their antics at Atlanta – where Edwards retaliated against Keselowski and sent Keselowski’s car flying through the air and landing on its roof.
Keselowski and Edwards left the Cup hauler at Bristol all smiles, but it didn’t take long for those to go away. They weren’t happy with each other four months later when Edwards wrecked Keselowski at the end of the Nationwide race at Gateway with Keselowski getting clobbered by other cars in the process.
“I didn’t mean any harm to him at all,” Edwards said of the Gateway incident. “Eventually he will learn that he can’t run into my car over and over and put me in bad situations.”
Countered Keselowski: “I’m sure he’ll say how sorry he is, or how cool he thinks he is or how great of a guy he is in his own mind, but that’s not reality.”
Though their feud seems to have cooled in recent months, Bristol would be the ideal place for Keselowski to get even.
Matt Kenseth vs. Brian Vickers
Matt Kenseth has irked various drivers throughout his career, including Jeff Gordon at Bristol in 2006, an incident for which Gordon paid him back later that season at Chicagoland Speedway. They got together again at Martinsville just last year.
Kenseth angered Brian Vickers two weeks ago at Phoenix with Vickers saying that Kenseth wrecked him.
“I felt like it was unnecessary and I’m sure it will come back to him.”,” Vickers said afterward.
Kenseth denied causing the wreck and still was waiting for an apology a week later.
“Obviously when there is a big wreck nobody wants it to be their fault,” Kenseth said. “When you wreck, you might say things you aren’t too sure on. I sent him a text like we all do these days and never heard back from him. I figured after I went home and watched the clip that I would get an apology, but I never did.”
Kenseth might be waiting for something else at Bristol if Vickers is on his bumper.
Kevin Harvick vs. Joey Logano
This feud started at Bristol last year when Harvick intentionally spun Logano near the end of the Nationwide Series race. It has died down since Pocono last June, when Harvick spun Logano in the final laps and Logano parked his car near Harvick’s and confronted him and his team on pit road.
That incident included Logano’s infamous line: “It’s probably not his fault. His wife wears the firesuit in the family and tells him what to do.”
Considering where these two drivers are in the standings, they likely will have a take-no-prisoners attitude at Bristol. Harvick is 20th and Logano is 30th.
That’s not where they expected to be at this time of year. So no matter the past, they might be a little bit more on edge than usual. Harvick typically runs well at Bristol, and if his day is ruined – especially by someone he has a history with (Logano, Edwards, Greg Biffle) – he won’t be happy at all.