Monday, August 15, 2011

Road courses result in road rage

The lasting image from Watkins Glen.
Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR
Road rage happens to everyone, even the professionals who get paid to race at the high speeds in close spaces. The latest example of this came at Watkins Glen International on Monday. The race was tame until the last few laps on a green-white-check finish.


After contact between Boris Said and David Ragan, David Reutimann got wrecked and went airborne into the tire barrier. This ignited a furor of post race comments and prompted a heated exchange between Greg Biffle and Boris Said.


Boris Said: “I’m more upset with Greg Biffle. He’s the most unprofessional, little scaredy cat I’ve ever seen in my life. He won’t even fight me like a man. If someone texts me his address, I’ll go see him Wednesday at his house and show him what he really needs. He needs a friggin’ whooping and I'm going to give it to him.” Said explained that this all stems from on track incidents with Biffle saying, “He was flipping me off, giving me the finger, totally unprofessional. Two laps down, I mean, he’s a chump. I went over there to go talk to him and he wouldn’t even let me get out of the car. Throws a few little baby punches and then he runs away and hides behind some big guys.” Said concluded by vowing to keep this off track, and said “But he won't hide from me for long. I'll find him. I won't settle it out on the track – it's not right to wreck cars – but he'll show up with a black eye one of these days. I'll see him somewhere.”


In response, Greg Biffle took to his Twitter (@gbiffle) account to reply to Said. His response: “1st of all I want to make sure everyone sees the wreck between David & David, now that's coming from a guy that says I am unprofessional. Let me tell u something Boris,"the roadcourse ringer" caused that wreck. He did the same thing to me earlier in the race off the carousel. The same place Sam H got off & caused the horrific wreck with the 24,31etc. Thank God, they paved that run off. Then Mr. Class pulls in behind my truck after the race today?! Shouldn't you go check on David & David? How unprofessional & disrespectful!”


Not taking any side was David Ragan, who did not directly place blame on Said. In his post race interview Ragan said, “It's just a product of close quarters racing at the end. Our UPS team had done a good job. We were going to salvage a top-20 finish I think after running out of fuel earlier in the race. I felt like I had a good run; I felt like I had Boris clear and I think he got a little better run that we did and he just hooked us. He certainly could have given a little more of a break and we all could have gotten through there and not torn up anything. But he was aggressive and we were all aggressive. He hooked me and I hit hard.”


If anything, Ragan placed blame on Watkins Glen for not having more SAFER barriers surrounding the track. After the crash he said, “I'm sore. That was a hard hit. I looked down at my feet and my pedals and my leg rests were all pushed over. It's a shame that a race track we go to in 2011 doesn't have a better wall design all the way around the race track, so hopefully they'll look at that. I've been to some dirt tracks that have better walls than that. It was a hard hit, but our cars are safe. Thanks to everyone back at home that builds us safe race cars.” Those same sentiments were also echoed by Denny Hamlin as well, so maybe by 2012 Watkins Glen can make the needed improvements.


As for the road rage, it’s a given that fast cars will results in hot tempers but I do commend Boris Said and Greg Biffle for keeping it off the track, battles needed to be settled off track where no one else is in jeopardy.


NASCAR By the Numbers and In the Rearview Mirror (looking back at NASCAR's history) are Amanda's two weekly columns with Skirts and Scuffs, but as an Associate Editor her duties are limitless. Amanda also strives to provide exclusive interviews for the readers of Skirts and Scuffs. To read her past columns and interviews click here.Feel free to contact Amanda viaTwitter.

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