Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch have just been downgraded to the undercard in NASCAR's contentious Summer Slam Series.
Make way for Greg Biffle and Boris Said.
Their post-race road rage at Watkins Glen on Monday had all the feisty elements necessary for a full-blown rivalry. It doesn't get any better than Said calling Biffle a "scaredy cat" and asking people to text him Biffle's address so he can make an unexpected house call and show him a little vigilante justice.
NASCAR officials are investigating the incident because punches were thrown.
Biffle popped Said a few times while Said was in his car. Said then got out of his car and had to be restrained from going after Biffle.
The bar most certainly has been raised, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Busch.
"He is the most unprofessional little scaredy cat I've ever seen in my life," Said huffed after the race. "He wouldn't even fight me like a man after. So if someone texts me his address, I'll go see him Wednesday at his house and show him what he really needs."
Later in the evening, Biffle tweeted this: "'The roadcourse ringer' caused that wreck," later adding, "Then Mr. Class pulls in behind my truck after the race today?! Shouldn't you go check on David & David? How unprofessional & disrespectful!"
Biffle was referring to David Reutimann and David Ragan, Biffle's Roush Fenway Racing teammate. Said made contact with the back of Ragan's car on the final lap, causing Ragan's car to slam into the guardrail. Reutimann's Toyota flipped upside down and into a protective barrier. Both cars were totaled.
The bigger picture here, beyond the two guys who obviously hate each other, is the "roadcourse ringer" factor. It happens every time when NASCAR decides that making an occasional right turn isn't such a bad thing, and goes road racing at places like Watkins Glen. The occasional road course specialist like Said shows up. Hijinks ensue.
Said has absolutely no vested interest in the Sprint Cup standings or loyalty to teammates. Said has only raced twice this season — both road courses — and is 714 points behind leader Kyle Busch. Whether the big wreck was simply a byproduct of hard racing or an interloper pushing the envelope is impossible to sort out, but the question begs to be asked.
NASCAR drivers get into each other all the time and tempers flare, but at least it's all in the family.
Road courses certainly throw a great curve in the long grind of left-hand turns, but it also invites drivers who are just passing through.
It's like this: Some folks prefer beer. Some folks prefer wine. But trouble often brews when you mix and match.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun