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Sparks, Tempers Flare at Martinsville

Two pairs of drivers had it out for each other Sunday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway, which has become common practice for the paper-clip shaped short track in Virginia. Whether their differences have been settled remains to be seen, but as always, controversy also seems to make for great television. Lets take a look at both incidents:

On lap 361, Kyle Busch gave Aric Almirola a tap to his rear bumper heading into turn 3. Almirola returned the favor in turn 4, however with much more force. Busch turned down on Almirola, causing both to spin and causing a multi-car incident. Almirola would be knocked out of the race, while Busch would continue. (Take a look at the incident below!)

Almirola discussed the incident following his retirement from the race. “It’s disappointing. I had a really good Smithfield Ford Mustang and felt like we were maybe one adjustment away from being maybe a second or third-place car, so I’m proud of my guys, proud of the effort. We’ve got three more weeks, and I’m going to make it hell for him.” Kyle Busch’s response, was a simple and direct, “Sounds good.” This one surely isn’t over!

Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano have had altercations on track and in the garage before, and their on-and-off fued continued Sunday. On lap 458, Hamlin and Logano were battling for position when both cars made contact with each other, propelling Logano’s Ford into the outside wall, causing a flat tire for Logano. He would go on to finish seventh, but wanted answers after the checkered flag flew.

Approaching Hamlin on pit lane, a seemingly calm discussion turned to fists flying when Logano gave Hamlin a aggressive push to his right shoulder. An angry Hamlin went after Logano, and chaos ensued with Hamlin and Logano trying to get to each other while both drivers crews stepped in to defend their driver. After the chaos calmed, both drivers voiced their opinions on what happened. (Watch the altercation below!)

Hamlin stated, “We were having a discussion. Everything was civil, and then, like Joey does, he does a little push and then runs away. So that’s Joey. Scared. He said, ‘Do you want to go?’ I said, ‘Yes, I’m here.’ But then he runs away.” “I just really wanted to go over there to talk to him and get his side of the story on what happened, and he just said ‘I ran you up in the wall’ basically. It wasn’t as apologetic as I was looking for, and that probably escalated the situation too much. I shouldn’t have shoved him. For all the kids watching, that wasn’t the best thing to do. But I was frustrated, tempers were high and it’s the playoffs, so that’s what happens,” Logano explained after the altercation.

Will these two fueds carry over to the next round? If so, who will come out on top? Stay tuned to find out!

Featured Image Credit: Tyler Strong | NASCAR Digital Media

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