Credit: Tim Vizer / Associated Press

Take forty three competitive race car drivers, put them all in their own car, mix in hot temperatures, add a dash of heated tempers and what do you get? Quite possibly the making of some of the best on-track rivalries in NASCAR racing history. And if you watched Saturday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race, you no doubt witnessed one of the hottest rivalries in racing today; Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski.

NASCAR racing has always had its fair share of rivalries. Its what a lot of driver’s fan bases are built from. Whether it was Richard Petty battling David Pearson or Dale Earnhardt battling just about anybody, fans have always used these rivalries to develop their own love/hate relationship between certain drivers. Petty and Pearson by far have one of the most notable rivalries after battling for the lead between each other for a remarkable more than 57 races. David Pearson finally brought this one to a head when he took a beaten and battered car to victory lane in the 1976 Daytona 500 after the two had another classic duel on the final lap resulting in both cars hitting the wall and spinning. However, Pearson was able to limp to the finish line and flaunt a Daytona victory in the face of Petty whose car came to a rest just feet before the finish line.

Credit: Ric Feld / Associated Press

But perhaps it was Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison that would have the most memorable old school rivalry in NASCAR history. Following the 1979 Daytona 500, these two were involved in a very heated fist fight in the infield of the Daytona International Speedway after they wrecked each other on the final lap. Most early NASCAR fans recall this rivalry very well because it was the first race that was televised in its entirety on a national broadcast network. This definitely had the fans tuning in the following week.

Credit: The Associated Press

Fast forward to today and there’s not much that’s changed. Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowsi began their scuffle in 2009 at Talladega when Keselowski turned Edwards on the final lap of the race. Edwards never forgot and in 2010, he sent Keselowski for a fence ride with six laps to go at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in March. Since then, they have been two of the hardest racers in the pack, making everyone cringe when they even get close to one another. Fuel was definitely added to the flame Saturday night when Edwards won the Nationwide Series race at Gateway International Raceway, refusing to let Keselowski take the win from him. The scene had been set for a green-white-checkered finish with Keselowski in the lead and Edwards on the outside in second place. As the two took the white flag side by side, they sailed into turn 1 and Keselowski overdrove the corner hitting Edwards in the door and all but wrecking him. Edwards was able to save it and pull back along side of Keselowski and coming out of turn 4, Edwards made sure the two tangled again. This time Keselowski went spinning to the inside wall causing a huge pileup to the finish as Edwards took the victory. When asked what happened, Edwards simply said “I couldn’t let him take the win from me like that.”

So while Keselowski fans are obviously furious with Edwards, the show will go on. I doubt the two are on speaking terms and probably haven’t been for quite some time, but they will both have a new agenda this time next week; to win another race. Let’s hope for their sake that the race win doesn’t come down between the two. On second thought, I wouldn’t mind seeing that. It’s not very often that a race brings me to my feet like it did on Saturday.

  1. Adam Day says:

    I really wish I would have watched the race now. But hey, who needs to watch it when I can read about it on Road Rage!

    BTW…I’m the 100th comment!

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