Three classic NASCAR fights

Tamhas Woods

No introduction needed here, as in NASCAR, almost anything goes. In preparation for a new season of glory and mayhem, we fondly remember three classic NASCAR fights.

Townley v Gallagher – 2016 Drivin’ for Lineman 200

At times, the conduct of NASCAR drivers is more akin to professional wrestlers. However, it is especially rare to see a driver actually attempt a finishing move straight out of the squared circle.

An attempted DDT, of which even Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts would be proud, figures prominently in this rather one-sided scuffle.

Mears v Ambrose – 2014 Toyota Owners 400

In the context of the title race, it was one of the more meaningless NASCAR fights. With only personal pride at stake, Marcos Ambrose knew there was nothing to lose – and so the infamous red mist descended.

Further up the food chain, Brad Keselowski had earlier been on the verge of exchanging blows with Matt Kenseth for a contentious move. However, a race official stopped him in the nick of time.

Casey Mears had no such luxury afforded to him, tasting Ambrose’s knuckles in front of the entire nation.

Allison v Yarborough – 1979 Daytona 500

This is remembered as one of the all-time classic fights from a bygone era. At the spiritual home of stock car racing, the season’s second race was fraught with emotion, which always threatened to boil over.

One week previously, Cale Yarborough had scored a podium place in the opener at Riverside, while Donnie Allison had scraped a top five finish.

As a cocktail of heavyweights – including eventual champion Richard Petty – battled for supremacy, one moment of madness led to chaos.

In front of a coast-to-coast television audience, Allison and Yarborough (quite literally!) crashed out of contention for a win, handing victory to Petty on the final lap. Understandably upset, the two men sought some old-school mediation.

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