Nascar is cultivating a more genteel, upscale image these days, but all that paint tradin' on the track still has a way of leading to punch swappin' in the pits. The postrace dustups in Dover, Del., on Sept. 15—Kyle Petty versus Michael Waltrip, and Jimmy Spencer versus Wally Dallenbach—were the latest in a long line of high-octane brawls. Here are some classics.
In the granddaddy of all NASCAR slugfests, after Donnie Allison bumps Cale Yarborough on the final lap of the Daytona 500, taking both out of race, Yarborough (on ground, above), a sometime alligator wrestler, takes on Donnie and brother Bobby.
Upset over a collision with Brett Bodine two weeks before, Ricky Rudd approaches Bodine during qualifying at North Wilkesboro ( N.C.) Speedway, congratulates him on a good run and then takes a punch at him. "He scuffed me," says Bodine.
After being bumped out of a race by Bobby Hillin Jr. while leading at Bristol (Tenn.) Raceway, Dale Jarrett walks to the edge of the track and heaves his helmet at Hillen's car as it speeds by. "It's a shame idiots like that are out there," says Jarrett.
Crowded by Lake Speed during the last laps of the Miller Genuine Draft 400 at Michigan International Speedway, Michael Waltrip cuts off Speed in the pits, hops out and punches him twice. "He parked me like a highway patrolman," says Speed.
After Ted Musgrave causes Ricky Rudd to spin out during the Hanes 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Rudd's crew chief, Bill Ingle, punches Musgrave, drawing a $250 fine.