You're doing it wrong: Kahne and Vickers feud at Martinsville

The three round fiasco involving Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers at Martinsville shows just what can happen to a driver's patience at short tracks.

Short track racing always brings out the worst in drivers, even likable nice guys like the driver of the No. 5. He and the driver of the No. 55 had a three-round confrontation that only ended because the 'principal' stepped in.

What happened

On the 160th lap of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville, Brian Vickers went for a spin out of turn four. This was due to contact from Kasey Kahne, who seemed to have just run out of patience after getting squeezed onto the curbing by Vickers.

60 laps later, Vickers (now without a hood), retaliated. Kahne went spinning into the wall, suffering substantial damage to the rear of his car. Another 50 or so laps after that, Kahne sent Vickers around for a second time. 

When Vickers got into Kahne, he came over the radio and stated, "Car just went straight, there must be something wrong with the splitter," he said in his defense." Yes, he did go straight ... In fact, he actually went to the right a little bit.

Following their third run-in, Vickers' tone on the radio changed to "We can do this all day." The powers that be opted to step in and gave a stern warning to both teams. Afterwards, they raced each other the rest of the event without issue. 

Is the Kahne/Vickers kind of retaliation good for the sport? No

The question remains, is this kind of feuding good for the sport? On social media, NASCAR fans slammed one or both of these drivers for their actions while one contingent of viewers did enjoy it. International race fans tend to frown upon it, knocking the entire sport and questioning its credibility.

Use your words (or fists), not your race cars

My opinion? What we saw in the Charlotte garage AFTER the cars came to a stop was great for NASCAR. What we saw on the track at Martinsville was not. If NASCAR hadn't stepped in, those two probably would have continued until one or the other was no longer able to drive their car. If you're ticked off, use words (or your fists) to show your displeasure, not the race cars that you aren't in charge of fixing.

However, if you must use the car ... Do as Harvick did

However, I'm not  necessarily against paying back a driver, but you just have to do it right. These two need to take a lesson from Kevin Harvick. He was upset with Matt Kenseth, perhaps wrongly so, but instead of wrecking him in an incident that may very well take out others in the process, he messed with the No. 20 and delivered the message that way. He ended their confrontation with a brake check that pushed in the grille of Kenseth's Toyota in. Harvick did nothing more after that and Kenseth went on to finish sixth.

If you're upset with a fellow driver and insist on using your car, don't go round-and-round in an endless demolition derby of anger. Do as Harvick did. Make your point, but don't directly alter the outcome of the race and put other drivers in danger of being swept up in a wreck, especially now that we are in the midst of the Chase.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Martinsville II
Sub-event Sunday race
Track Martinsville Speedway
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Kevin Harvick , Kasey Kahne , Brian Vickers
Article type Commentary