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NASCAR’s 7 Greatest Bristol Hot Temper Moments

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Joshua Lipowski

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Bristol Motor Speedway is a short track where drivers have even shorter fuses. Plenty of times drives have had tempers boil over in the history of Bristol Motor Speedway. What are the greatest moments of Bristol Motor Speedway tempers?

7. 2002 Channellock 250: Kevin Harvick vs Greg Biffle

Late in the Channellock 250 at Bristol, a young Kevin Harvick was wrecked by a young Greg Biffle. Harvick stood on top of a pit box waiting for the race to end so he could confront Biffle. Harvick then leaped over Biffle’s car and grabbed him. Eventually, the two were separated, but it was not the final time in 2002 that Bristol tempers boiled over.

6. 2002 Food City 500: Kurt Busch vs Jimmy Spencer Pt. 1

The day following Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle’s scuffle at Bristol, it was Kurt Busch and Jimmy Spencer that began scuffling with each other. Busch bumped Spencer late in the race to take the lead and the eventual win. The move set off a rivalry that continued well into 2003.

5. 1995 Goody’s 500: Dale Earnhardt vs Rusty Wallace

Dale Earnhardt often found himself at odds with competitors, and this was especially true in 1995 at Bristol with Rusty Wallace. Earnhardt put Wallace into the wall during the race, and the two settled their differences in the infield after the race. This was also the famous race when Earnhardt spun Terry Labonte across the line and Labonte won.

4. 2021 Bass Pro Shops Night Race: Kevin Harvick vs Chase Elliott

Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott were fighting for the win at Bristol late during the 2021 Night Race. Elliott and Harvick made contact forcing Elliott to pit. Elliott came back up on the track and blocked Harvick as much as he could to allow teammate Kyle Larson to win. Harvick was nothing short of fuming following the race, and the two got into a shouting match on pit road.

3. 2006 Food City 500: Jeff Gordon vs Matt Kenseth

Matt Kenseth had a frustrating final few laps at Bristol in the spring of 2006. He was bumped out of the lead by Kurt Busch, and Kenseth dropped to fourth after Jeff Gordon bumped him. Kenseth retaliated by bumping Gordon back and spinning him out. Gordon was hot, and he shoved Kenseth on pit road after the race.

2. 2012 Irwin Tools Night Race: The Tony Stewart Helmet Toss

Matt Kenseth once again found himself in the center of controversy at Bristol in 2012 when he and Tony Stewart tangled while battling for the lead during the race. Stewart was upset, and he executed arguably the best helmet toss in NASCAR history. His helmet perfectly landed on the front bumper, and Stewart riled up the crowd.

1. 2002 Sharpie 500: Who Didn’t Have a Problem with Each Other?

The 2002 Sharpe 500 saw two major Bristol incidents. First, Dale Earnhardt Jr. spun out Ward Burton, and Burton made the decision to show his displeasure by throwing his gloves at Earnhardt Jr.’s window. Later on in the night. Jimmie Johnson was spun out on a restart by Robbie Gordon. Johnson ripped Gordon in an interview after the race, and Gordon was held for two laps. Jeff Gordon went on to win the race in a bump and run move over Rusty Wallace, so everyone was mad at everyone that night.

There will always be drivers mad at each other as times go on in NASCAR, but especially at Bristol. Who knows what other Bristol tempers we will see in the future.

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Joshua Lipowski

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