NASCAR’s biggest rivalries bring thrilling races and intense fan engagement. Some of the most notable feuds follow:
- Dale Earnhardt vs. Jeff Gordon – Late 90s feud. Earnhardt aggressive; Gordon, smooth.
- Richard Petty vs. David Pearson – 70s veterans. Close and competitive with on-track incidents.
- Jimmie Johnson vs. Kurt Busch – Early 2010s bad breakup. Tense moments and heated exchanges.
- Kyle Busch vs. Joey Logano – Young rivals. Clashes on track, heated arguments, physical altercations.
These rivalries not only heat up the crowd during a race, but they add to the fun of being a NASCAR fan.
NASCAR’s Oldest and Most Heated Rivalry: Petty vs. Pearson
NASCAR’s oldest and most passionate feud began in the 1960s. During the 1970s, Richard Petty and David Pearson raced intensely against one another in some of the sport’s most epic races. From the first time they competed in 1961, to their last race in 1979 at the Daytona 500, they pushed each other to the max in order to be the victor. This article will discuss the history and impact of this iconic rivalry.
The Beginnings of the Rivalry
The Richard Petty and David Pearson rivalry is a legendary one in NASCAR. It began in ’63 when they first faced each other.
Both drivers were at the peak of their careers. Their competitive spirit and desire to win sparked a heated rivalry, captivating motorsports.
They battled on the track, trading wins and dominating the sport. Their on-track battles were intense. Often, crashes or mechanical failures occurred, intensifying the rivalry.
Though they’ve retired, their rivalry is still remembered by fans as one of the greatest in NASCAR history.
Intense On-Track Battles
NASCAR has seen some fiery fights on the track, but none like Petty and Pearson’s. The rivalry between two of the most successful drivers, Richard Petty and David Pearson, was powered by their determination, ambition, and eagerness to win.
The peak of their rivalry occurred during the 1976 Daytona 500, when they collided on the final lap, allowing Pearson to snatch the victory. This incident is still thought of as one of NASCAR’s most remarkable finishes.
The battles between Petty and Pearson not only had crowds roaring, but also turned the sport into the exciting show it is now. Even though the sport has shifted much since the Petty-Pearson days, the spirit of hard-fought, on-track fights continues to live on in NASCAR.
Legendary Last-Lap Duel at the 1976 Daytona 500
One of the most legendary moments in NASCAR’s history was the last-lap duel between Richard Petty and David Pearson at the 1976 Daytona 500. This exemplified the oldest and most heated rivalry in the sport. Petty and Pearson were two of the most skilled drivers.
Pearson had been leading for a lot of the race, but he slowed down on the final lap to save fuel. Petty took advantage and overtook him. Pearson made a chaotic move, which made both cars spin out of control and slide across the finish line.
Petty’s car stalled, while Pearson’s limped to a stop just past the finish line, securing his victory. The Petty-Pearson rivalry spanned many years. But, their battle at the ’76 Daytona 500 will always be remembered as one of the greatest finishes in NASCAR history.
The Intense Rivalry between Earnhardt and Gordon
Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon’s rivalry was one of the most intense ever seen in NASCAR. Each driver had their own fans that thought their favorite was the best. Whenever these two drivers raced each other, the excitement was intense. On the track, and off the track, their rivalry was unforgettable. It’s remembered as one of the most famous rivalries in NASCAR’s history.
The Early Days of the Rivalry
Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon’s rivalry in NASCAR was legendary. It began in the early 90s and lasted until Earnhardt’s sad passing in 2001.
Gordon was a young, up-and-coming driver, while Earnhardt was a 7-time champ and the face of NASCAR.
As Gordon started winning, he challenged Earnhardt’s dominance. They had a contentious relationship, often racing hard and close. Despite their competition, there was respect between them both.
Their rivalry drove the sport’s popularity to great heights and made NASCAR a phenomenon.
The Infamous Bristol Feud in 1995
The 1995 Bristol Feud was an unforgettable moment in NASCAR history. Dale Earnhardt, nicknamed “The Intimidator,” started it all by spinning Jeff Gordon’s car during a race at the Bristol Motor Speedway.
This, and other incidents on the track, sparked a fierce rivalry between the two drivers. The feud reached its peak during the 1995 Southern 500. Earnhardt caused Gordon to crash at the end of the race. But Gordon went on to win the championship that year, while Earnhardt came in second. This rivalry between the two drivers is still seen as one of the greatest in NASCAR history. It demonstrated the immense competition and passion that drives the sport.
The Intensity Continues: The 1997 Daytona 500
The 1997 Daytona 500 was when Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon showed their intense rivalry. Both were big names in NASCAR history.
The two drivers raced for the lead. Earnhardt was ahead until the final moments. But Jeff Gordon overtook him, winning the race and solidifying the rivalry.
The two had mutual respect, pushing each other and NASCAR standards to new heights.
The Earnhardt-Gordon rivalry and others like Petty vs. Pearson and Johnson vs. Busch, helped turn NASCAR into what it is today – full of excitement, intensity, and high-stakes racing.
The Battle for Supremacy: Johnson vs. Kenseth
In NASCAR, Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth have a rivalry like no other! They’ve been competing since their Busch Series days. Fans have been blessed with some of the most intense and amazing races ever – thanks to these two champions. Let’s take a look at this remarkable Johnson-Kenseth rivalry!
The 2003 Rookie Class: Johnson and Kenseth
The 2003 NASCAR rookie class brought us two drivers: Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth. They had successful rookie seasons, Johnson with three wins and Kenseth one.
For years, Johnson and Kenseth competed fiercely. Johnson ended up with seven Cup Series titles and Kenseth with one. Although they raced for different teams (Johnson for Hendrick Motorsports and Kenseth for Roush Fenway Racing), they had respect for each other.
Their rivalry was mostly civil, unlike many in the sport. The 2003 rookie class set the stage for one of NASCAR’s greatest rivalries.
Johnson’s first Championship in 2006
Jimmie Johnson claimed his first NASCAR Cup Series Championship in 2006, proving he was one of the greatest drivers in the sport. He and fellow driver, Matt Kenseth, competed fiercely for the title. Kenseth had dominated the 2006 season, while Johnson was inconsistent.
But, Johnson turned things around in the last ten races, winning two and finishing in the top ten except once. Their rivalry captivated NASCAR fans and showed the intense competition that has defined the sport.
Johnson was the champion in 2006, but their rivalry continued for years.
Kenseth’s Championship and Johnson’s Redemption in 2013
In 2013, Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson were locked in an intense battle for NASCAR supremacy. Kenseth, the veteran driver, had a single championship under his belt and was driving for Joe Gibbs Racing that year. Johnson, the five-time defending champion, was going for a sixth consecutive Cup Series title.
Kenseth dominated the first half of the season. He won seven races and had a huge points lead. But Johnson fought back in the second half. He won six races and gradually cut into Kenseth’s lead.
In the end, Johnson won his sixth Cup Series title in eight years. Kenseth finished second, with seven wins and just 19 points behind.
The 2013 NASCAR season saw an epic rivalry between Kenseth and Johnson. It was a historic season that will be remembered for years.
Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin’s rivalry is well-known. It began in 2010, when they had a go at each other in the Daytona 500. Hamlin won the race. Since then, their rivalry has only grown. They have become famous for their intense on-track fights. Here’s how it has changed over time:
The Early Years of Their Rivalry
The Stewart-Hamlin rivalry began in the early 2000s. Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin raced each other on the NASCAR circuit. The rivalry grew stronger as they both won championships and competed for wins.
In 2010, it reached a peak. Hamlin accused Stewart of deliberately wrecking him. They had a heated argument and Stewart apologized.
Despite their clashes, they respected each other’s driving and sportsmanship. They even joined forces for charity events and sports talks.
The rivalry that started in the early years kept fans captivated for many years.
Fight Night at Charlotte in 2011
The 2011 Fight Night at Charlotte was the peak of the Stewart-Hamlin rivalry. It was one of NASCAR’s most famous battles ever.
Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin had been arguing and crashing cars all season. But it all came to a head during the Bank of America 500 in Charlotte. Stewart was in the lead when Hamlin bumped his rear bumper, causing him to spin out and lose his place.
Stewart was angry and went to confront Hamlin after the race. They both shouted heated words and then started to fight. Their teams had to jump in to stop them.
This rivalry gained lots of attention from the public and NASCAR officials.
Pro Tip: It’s ok to compete, but it’s important to stay respectful of the game.
Stewart’s Retaliation in 2012
In 2012, Tony Stewart and Joey Logano clashed in a NASCAR race. This caused the Stewart-Hamlin rivalry to ignite. It also added fuel to one of NASCAR’s biggest rivalries.
Logano had pushed Stewart beneath the yellow line during the race. So, Stewart then deliberately crashed Logano’s car on the last lap. This dangerous crash ended Logano’s chances of winning.
Stewart defended his actions and argued that Logano had been reckless. This sparked a heated exchange between them.
The Stewart-Hamlin rivalry has been kept alive by a variety of on-track incidents, exchanges, and their contrasting personalities. It is now one of NASCAR’s most controversial rivalries.
Off-Track Rivalries: Keselowski vs. Busch Brothers
The racing world knows NASCAR as one of the most popular leagues. Drivers in NASCAR create heated rivalries on and off the track. Brad Keselowski and the Busch Brothers, Kyle and Kurt, have a notorious rivalry. For years, they have clashed multiple times. Let us take a glimpse at this rivalry and how it changed NASCAR.
Keselowski vs. Busch: A Twitter Feud
Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch have been feuding on Twitter.
It started when Keselowski tweeted a criticism of a decision made by Busch. Busch responded with a jab at Keselowski’s past driving incidents.
The feud has gotten bigger, with both drivers and their fans exchanging insults. Their on-track rivalry has been full of clashes and disagreements. But this Twitter fight is the latest example of their off-track rivalry. It’s been entertaining NASCAR fans, no matter who comes out on top.
On-Track Battles: Busch vs. Keselowski and Busch vs. Kyle
On-Track Battles: Busch vs. Keselowski and Busch vs. Kyle bring the biggest rivalries to NASCAR. Off-track rivalries add another layer to the sport.
- Kyle and his brother Kurt have had multiple collisions on the track. This has led to fiery exchanges.
- Meanwhile, Kyle and Keselowski have fought for wins, with intense finishes and incidents.
Off the track, Keselowski has been publicly at odds with both Busch brothers – particularly Kyle. He’s criticized Kyle’s driving style and Kyle has retaliated. They’ve even had a post-race scuffle at the 2020 Coca-Cola 600.
The Busch brothers’ relationship has been rocky too. They’ve taken jabs at each other on social media.
These rivalries add drama, tension and excitement to the sport. Fans love it!
Keselowski vs. Busch: The Physical Altercation at Texas Motor Speedway
Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch have a long-standing rivalry. They have had on-track incidents, with each blaming the other for intentional wrecks.
At Texas Motor Speedway, Keselowski bumped Busch, causing Busch to spin out and crash. After the race, Busch confronted Keselowski, leading to a heated argument and physical altercation.
The Keselowski vs. Busch feud is one of the most intense rivalries in recent memory. The incident at Texas Motor Speedway could be the peak, but it won’t be the end of it.
The Truex-Johnson rivalry is legendary in the NASCAR Cup Series. It all began in 2005 when they crashed into each other at Richmond. Since then, the two drivers have had many clashes on and off the racetrack. Let’s delve into this intense rivalry and its impact on NASCAR Cup racing.
The Continuous Rivalry Throughout the 2017 Season
Martin Truex Jr. and Jimmie Johnson sparked a powerful rivalry in the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series. Both drivers were contenders for the championship. Truex Jr. had 8 wins, while Johnson won 3 races. Although Johnson had fewer wins, his consistency helped him reach the Championship 4. At the end, Truex Jr. won the championship. Johnson finished in ninth place overall.
This rivalry was a major highlight of the season. It brought excitement and drama to the races. It also displayed the competitive spirit and talent of the two drivers, solidifying their status as some of the biggest names in the sport.
The Clash at Chicagoland Speedway in 2018
Martin Truex Jr. and Jimmie Johnson’s rivalry was alive and well at the 2018 Chicagoland Speedway race. These two drivers have had a strong competition for wins and championships in the NASCAR Cup Series. The race saw Truex take the lead for much of it, but Johnson made a late push to challenge him. Truex held off Johnson and secured the win. This race was a great example of NASCAR’s biggest rivalry and the fierce competition that follows.
The Unspoken Rivalry: Truex’s Move to Gibbs Racing
Martin Truex Jr. and Jimmie Johnson‘s rivalry sparked in 2019 when Truex moved to Joe Gibbs Racing. They’d had past incidents on the track and now Truex was Kyle Busch’s teammate, who had his own rivalry with Johnson. This has become one of NASCAR’s biggest rivalries in recent years. Both drivers compete to be top in the premier series.
Though intense on the track, they both speak highly of each other off the track. They recognize each other’s talents and accomplishments.
Conclusion: The Future of NASCAR’s Biggest Rivalries
To sum it up, the future of NASCAR’s greatest rivalries looks bright. Famous rivalries such as Dale Earnhardt vs. Jeff Gordon, Richard Petty vs. David Pearson, and Tony Stewart vs. Kurt Busch have created epic NASCAR moments. These battles have sparked debates and remarkable memories for NASCAR fans. As the sport grows, new rivalries will arise and old ones will re-emerge. This will ensure ongoing thrills and entertainment for NASCAR lovers!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of NASCAR’s biggest rivalries?
Some of the biggest rivalries in NASCAR include Dale Earnhardt Jr. vs Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart vs Matt Kenseth, and Kyle Busch vs Joey Logano.
When did Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon’s rivalry start?
The rivalry between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon started in the early 2000s when both drivers were battling for the top spot in NASCAR.
What caused the rivalry between Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth?
The rivalry between Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth started in 2012 when Stewart accused Kenseth of blocking him during a race. The two drivers then had several on-track incidents, leading to a heated rivalry.
Why are Kyle Busch and Joey Logano considered rivals?
Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are considered rivals due to several on-track incidents and altercations, including a post-race confrontation at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2017.
What is the most memorable NASCAR rivalry?
One of the most memorable NASCAR rivalries is between Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jeff Gordon during the 1990s. The two drivers had multiple on-track clashes and the rivalry helped boost NASCAR’s popularity at the time.