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April 24, 2014

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NASCAR drivers have memories like elephants

They say elephants have great memories, but their ability to remember can’t hold a candle to the powers of recollection that NASCAR drivers possess. Have you ever seen a driver who can’t remembering the exact date, time, track location and lap number of a time he was rubbed, bumped or wrecked by another driver? When it comes to remember the smallest real or perceived slight, NASCAR drivers have memory banks that rival Google.

So it’s not surprising that the verbal sparring between Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards resurfaced this week. During a radio interview, Harvick referred to Edwards as “fake.” Edwards responded on Friday by saying: “I think he’s a bad person.”

These two drivers tangled at Talladega in 2008. That led to a physical altercation in the garage area at Charlotte Motor Speedway which ended with Edwards grabbing Harvick by the throat. Where’s that anger management team for Tony Stewart when you need them?

Frankly, I think Harvick should look in the mirror before throwing stones at anyone. I had the chance to hear his press conference at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the race weekend last month and I thought the chip on his shoulder was very prevalent. There are a handful of drivers who come across as arrogant, imperious and entitled when they are away from the live TV cameras. But the Carl Edwards I saw in the media center at the Vegas track had none of those qualities.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that the drivers need to be perfect. Hell, I’ve been known to get pretty cranky. Especially around my deadline. And although some of this behavior is childish, watching the full spectrum of drivers’ personalities come to the surface can be pretty damn entertaining. Not to mention the fact that it makes for great cartooning possibilities. Hey, the fans and NASCAR wanted this season to be more interesting and the antics of the drivers, which usually stem from the action on the track, are an important component to the excitement factor.

Now it’s on to Bristol, which is always billed as the Mecca of bent sheet metal and bruised egos. But despite the feud Edwards is having with Harvick and Keselowski, I doubt we’ll see any of these drivers involved in any kind of altercations this Sunday. NASCAR is watching too closely and Edwards can’t afford to have his probation turned into a suspension.

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