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Next NASCAR feud likely coming soon

Published September 1, 2012 9:31 pm

NASCAR • With spots in the Chase still at stake, there could be trouble in Atlanta.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Hampton, Ga. • Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth have smoothed things over after their helmet-throwing dustup.

Not to worry.

In NASCAR, the next tantrum is usually just around the turn.

Emotions certainly will be running high Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the next-to-last race before the Chase for the championship begins. Several top drivers — including Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon — are battling just to get into the playoff, so they'll be on edge during the AdvoCare 500, knowing any major incident could ruin their hopes.

"If you've been in racing long enough, you're going to have some type of disagreement with pretty much everybody you're competitive with on the track," Kenseth said. "Some of that stuff is natural."

While NASCAR doesn't give the competitors carte blanche to do whatever they want, Stewart wasn't fined for tossing his helmet at Kenseth after a crash at Bristol last weekend. That was telling. The governing body has come back around to the idea of letting drivers show their emotions and try to work out any problems among themselves, which, of course, goes all the way back to the infamous 1979 incident in the Daytona 500 that essentially propelled the good ol' boys into the national spotlight.

Battling for the lead on the final lap, Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough smacked each other three times before their cars spun into the muddy infield, allowing Richard Petty to come around for the victory. While the King celebrated, Allison and Yarborough hopped out of their cars and got into a brawl, joined by Allison's brother, Bobby, who pulled over to join the melee on Donnie's behalf.

Nationwide Series

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. used a late push from runner-up Brad Keselowski to pass Kevin Harvick and win the Nationwide race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday night. Stenhouse, the defending series champion, raced to his fourth Nationwide victory of the season, and moved within 12 points of leader Elliott Sadler. —

Sprint Cup AdvoCare 500

P Sunday, 4:30 p.m.

TV • ESPN