Notice that the title of this column is “ridiculous fights,” and not actual, intense or compelling fights. These are short-lived, one-sided, wimpy, “what just happened there?” fights that make the highlight reel because because they’re ridiculous.
1. Harvick vs. Johnson, Chicago 2015
We all saw this one go down on Sunday at Chicago, and it was a bit of a disappointment if you wanted to see a two-sided conflict. Even when Kevin Harvick popped him one in the chest, Jimmie Johnson was having none of it. Johnson merely pointed a finger at Harvick, then turned around and walked away. Which probably made Harvick, who was looking for a reaction, even madder.
2. Patrick vs. Briscoe and Duno, Indianapolis 2008 and Mid-Ohio 2008
Danica Patrick had a reputation in IndyCar for being a bit of a hothead. She showed that when she marched down pit road, still in her helmet, to confront Ryan Briscoe after the two tangled on a round of stops. Briscoe’s crew actually told him to keep his helmet on as she approached. Then there was her argument with Milka Duno during practice at Mid-Ohio. It didn’t escalate into more than a shouting match but you have to admit she did have a point. It wasn’t her fault Duno was slow. She was just the one who came out and said it. Both incidents and Patrick’s response to the Duno incident are below.
3. Ambrose vs. Mears, Richmond 2014
This might have been the closest to an actual fight you’ll see on this list. Marcos Ambrose confronted Casey Mears after a frustrating race at Richmond, and Mears didn’t take too kindly to it, grabbing Ambrose to force further discussion. Ambrose replied with a right hook to Mears’s eye. What makes this one funny isn’t the actual fight, but that it was between Ambrose and Mears. Let that sink in for a minute. Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears. Possibly the last two guys you’d peg for a physical confrontation, possibly ever. Mears came away with quite a shiner, as evidenced by the second video, shot a day later.
4. Gordon vs. Keselowski, Texas 2014
Jeff Gordon climbed out of his car loaded for bear after Brad Keselowski basically ended a dominant season for the four-time champion, but Keselowski had no intention of engaging in much beyond a battle of words. Enter Harvick, who decided Keselowski needed to defend his honor, or something, and shoved the 2012 champ toward Gordon, whose camp needed no further provocation, and it was on. Had Harvick not shown up, it might not have blown up.
5. Waltrip vs. Speed, Michigan 1995
We all know how emotion can rule a moment, and that’s what happened here. Michael Waltrip’s punch, thrown at Lake Speed after a run-in at Michigan, might have been more effective if he’d waited for Speed to remove his helmet first. But he didn’t, so it probably hurt Waltrip’s hand more than Speed’s head. Because helmet.
About the author
Amy is an 18-year veteran NASCAR writer and a five-time National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) writing award winner, including first place awards for both columns and race coverage. As well as serving as Photo Editor, Amy writes The Big 6 (Mondays) after every NASCAR Cup Series race. She can also be found filling in from time to time on The Frontstretch 5 (Wednesdays) and her monthly commentary Holding A Pretty Wheel (Thursdays). A New Hampshire native living in North Carolina, Amy’s work credits have extended everywhere from driver Kenny Wallace’s website to Athlon Sports. She can also be heard weekly as a panelist on the Hard Left Turn podcast that can be found on AccessWDUN.com's Around the Track page.