NASCAR Fights: Good or Bad?


Apr 1, 2011
NASCAR drivers coming to fisticuffs and squabbles after races is becoming a readily occurring sight, but is this good or bad for the sport?

This past weekends race at Watkins Glen saw yet another post-race confrontation between drivers, as Ty Dillon and Regan Smith (pictured above) got into each other after the pair made contact at turn one immediately after a race restart. Both drivers had to be restrained from one another by crew members and various security personnel. With such behaviour becoming a common occurrence, NASCAR is hitting the headlines because of these post-race antics, rather than the racing that is actually happening on track. So is this a case of "any publicity is good publicity"? Or does something more meaningful need to be done to stop such things from happening?

In modern Formula One, rarely do you see drivers going after one another after an incident on track. In fact, the last incident that comes to mind was way back in 1998 when Michael Schumacher aggressively stormed over to David Coulthard's garage after a crash that ended Schumacher's race while leading a torrential Belgian Grand Prix. The closest thing we've had since then was Lewis Hamilton angrily pointing to his own head in reference to Romain Grosjean's poor decision making after that spectacular opening corner crash at Spa in 2012. Formula One drivers are often criticised for acting like PR-Robots; spouting the same mono-tonal PR-derived drivel during press conferences and interviews. This is not to say that F1 drivers never show any emotion, but it appears that Formula One places heavy regulation on driver etiquette, and whilst this doesn't always result in headlines, it does however preserve the image of Formula One drivers having a higher level of maturity and class to their persona. That's not to say that Formula One drivers have never fought, because there have certainly been instances in the past where drivers have come to blows, but, there's no denying that it's a far less common occurrence than what happens over the pond.

So, the question is, does NASCAR demean itself by continuing to allow this behaviour?

On the surface of it, seeing two drivers getting into a punch-up after a crash is indeed entertaining, however, if NASCAR wishes to be considered as America's top motor racing series, then it needs to do something to prevent its drivers (who are role models to some, after all) from fighting each other off the track. It doesn't set a good example of what motorsport should be about. The majority of these scuffles are brought to a halt even before they've begun, but, the fact that they're even allowed to confront each other in such a way after a race shows that perhaps there needs to be heftier regulation on driver behaviour.

Matters are then exacerbated when you have the television companies actively promoting these confrontations by keeping cameramen locked on to drivers who they think will likely try to fight with other drivers after an incident. The television commentators even begin to commentate on the action as if they're sitting ring-side at a WWE match, and then to top it all off, it's gloriously posted to the official NASCAR YouTube channel, all in the name of publicity. There seems to be something about NASCAR as many viewers openly admit to tuning in purely to see the crashes. The fan's bloodlust in these events extends to driver fights as well, as you can audibly hear people in the stands cheering when punches are being thrown. Certainly stricter behaviour regulation may have even been able to save lives, more specifically the life of Kevin Ward Jr. after he charged across the track in a fit of rage to try and wave down Tony Stewart in a sprint car race, and was tragically hit and killed.


Among today's heavily PR-regulated world of sports, NASCAR seems to set itself apart from the bunch by allowing its drivers more freedom in what they say, their actions and how they represent the sport as a whole. Over here in Australia, NASCAR does not receive a whole lot of coverage, so from what we see, and what is projected on the news, a NASCAR race consists of a series of crashes disguised as a motor race, followed by some drivers having a dust-up, and then going home. It's wildly entertaining, and sets itself apart from the 'I'd-like-to-thank-my-oil-company-and-my-watch-company' drivers that you see in many other series out there. There's a human element that shines through in NASCAR that few other Motorsports seem to be able to capture, and fighting is just one of those aspects of human nature.

Now I'll admit, I don't follow NASCAR in the slightest, or claim to know all that much about it, mainly because I find oval racing less exciting than watching paint dry, but the post-race 'activities' certainly provide a way for NASCAR to get its name in the headlines and a few more clicks on their various websites, and in the world we live in today, that's (pretty much) what it's all about.

Over to you:
Do you think NASCAR should be allowing this sort of thing? Or do you like the fact that drivers are able to come to blows after a race?
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Aug 10, 2015
Everyone here loves to see the emotion, that's racin'

But this sort of squabbling just comes down to poor sportsmanship, so have to say no, terrible for the sport in my very humble opinion.

Then again...if you look to the u.s. Audience......might be getting eaten up, they likely love it :)

Bad for the global Image though..


Jul 5, 2015
I do expect passion but sadly see this as a case of inbreeding/attention issues. I am sure the fans will love it.
But really it is mainly a bad PR idea and really poor sporting rules/sportsmanship.

Dave Fox

I get there...eventually.
Feb 20, 2013
Not a big Nascar follower but Motorsport in general and this type of behaviour really don't go together in my opinion..... Although I do find it entertaining when a boxing match breaks out while helmets are still on :D
Jun 9, 2011
Depends on who's watching IMO.
If you're watching it for the "drama" then it's good.
If you're watching it for racing ( but then again it's NASCAR :devilish:) it's not that good.

And motorsport is sort of a mix of the two sides so it will always draw some people to it and others away.
As for the motorsport "spirit" .. "sportsmanship" .. I guess it's a no brainier to everyone.

Sam Hill

Jan 23, 2014
It might be bad for the image of NASCAR but lets face it, NASCAR is still in a MUCH better place than F1 right now. So say what you want about NASCAR, but its doing alright for itself

Gary Thompson

May 6, 2009
Mixture of testosterone and adrenaline is not easily controlled when the red mist makes an appearance.
It shouldn't happen from a professional in any sport but unfortunately we're now seeing more and more of it from all walks of life and in many situations.


I hate VR. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Oct 2, 2010
Yes, love it. Love a good scrap. Lots of emotion. Great fun to watch. In fact it would be good if we good have some virtual fisticuffs after some race incidents in the race clubs. ;):thumbsup::whistling::whistling::whistling::devilish:

Michael Watts

XB1 Gamertag: michaei watts
Sep 18, 2011
I've been watching NASCAR for 20+ years and I think it's great. These guys push themselves to the limit each week for 3-4 hours only to get spun out by some punk ass dive bomber (come-on we've all been done like that in a private Sim lobby) but this is real life for real points and this is their job. Not just for entertainment, these guys are racing for their jobs! The fist fight at the end of the 1979 Daytona 500 put NASCAR on the map. Sure racing is supposed to be a Gentleman's sport but that's why there is F1. F1 could use some excitement instead of making snide remarks to the reporters.


Jan 16, 2015
NASCAR drivers care about what they do. That's emotion. It's going to come out sooner or later and better after the race than during it. For all people that think NASCAR is beneath them because of such displays, I would say you are missing the point. Ask Kimi what he thought after his truck race in Texas a few years back. I don't know because he left the track without talking to anyone.

It's a tough league and driving in circle with 41 other drivers must not be as easy and "Neanderthal" as some would think. And with Championships and millions of dollars on the line, men are going to take it personally.

Imagine what I would do to you if I were in the process of finishing some JavaScript for a site and you came in here and threw my computer out of the window? :rolleyes:
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Apr 2, 2015
No, definitely not. This is bad sportsmanship and NASCAR should clamp down on this. If people wanna watch fighting, go watch UFC.

This is becoming a big thing in the karting in the UK
I remember racing my own kart and the atmosphere was kind of horrible. The parents more than the drivers with bad sportsmanship. I got dragged into one of the teams tent after I was taken out on the straight and me and that kid were at the receiving end of a ten minute long rant about it, even though I didn't belong to that team and I wasn't at fault

I've also had a case where we believe that someone had put dirt into our carbiretta so It wouldn't work properly.

These fights are setting bad examples to parents and kids karting. If it acceptable in NASCAR, then people will think bad sportsmanship is fine


Jan 16, 2015
These fights are setting bad examples to parents and kids karting. If it acceptable in NASCAR, then people will think bad sportsmanship is fine
But there is a difference between two grown adults in a heated discussion and perhaps throwing dirt into someone's intake. That's a pretty horrid thing, and I would expect any sanctioning body to ban for life, anyone caught in an open act of sabotage.

And it's up to us as adults to teach the kids the difference. Those guys are role models, but we have to remember that they are also working for a living, and NASCAR really only pays well if you win.