Just when the redneck world of NASCAR (which is about as white as a cloud) couldn't get any stranger, two of the top stars in the "sport" have been basically called into the principal's office and told to "play nice or else!"
The latest feud between Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch has taken a new and somewhat goofier turn. This feud makes Spygate look like a misdemeanor. Despite the great pains taken by NASCAR officials to keep confidential what happened during Friday night's closed-door meeting between Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch following their on-track altercation, several reliable sources in the NASCAR garage confirmed to Yahoo! Sports that Stewart hit Busch in that meeting.
Remarkably, either Busch is a quick healer or the blow wasn't strong enough to leave a mark, as the Penske driver, during several appearances both in person and on television, revealed no sign of the altercation.
The confrontation stemmed from an on-track incident during a practice session for Saturday's Bud Shootout. During a practice session for Saturday's Budweiser Shootout, Stewart got into the back of Busch's car, spinning him into the wall at Daytona International Speedway. Both drivers' cars were damaged in the incident, forcing them to the garage. But before Stewart could navigate his way to the garage, an angry Busch pulled up beside him, then purposefully banged into the right side of Stewart's car.
Busch then cut in front of Stewart, steering his car through a narrow opening to the Daytona garage where he nearly hit a member of Stewart's crew.
The two have a history. In fact, this latest incident is reminiscent of an altercation they had last season when Busch, angry at Stewart for another on-track incident, drove next to Stewart's car on pit road during a race at Dover International Speedway, nearly hitting one of Stewart's crew members.
For that incident, Busch was fined $100,000 and docked 100 points. NASCAR officials have not determined what, if any, penalties will be forthcoming. In a statement released Saturday, Stewart said he has put the incident behind him, saying the on-track altercation was just a matter of racing.
"Kurt's emotion and his desire and passion to win are much like mine," Stewart said in the statement. "The easiest way for us to go out and do what we do is just to agree to disagree and go on from there.
"I'm not mad at him about what happened on the race track at all. What happened, happened. We can't fix it. We can't change it. The best thing to do is to go on and move forward and not let this linger between the two of us. And hopefully, the media will respect that and not keep it going longer than today."
The two met again with NASCAR on Saturday, a meeting attended by Stewart's boss, team owner and former Washington Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs.
Perhaps these two need some major timeout. They can't play nice and are playing a game that somewhat resembles when you have two kids in the back seat of a car. One kid keeps screaming, "He (or she)'s touching me." NASCAR needs to pull the car over and take over. NASCAR needs to clean up its image and (sorry, gotta get on the soapbox!) and let minorities in so it can be recognized as a sport and be legit. After all, its roots are based on seeing whose car can outrun the police on moonshine runs. Then maybe some of this folly can come to an end. Boys, start your engines, not put up your dukes!