The escalating discord between former teammates-turned-feuding rivals Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin came to a head on Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee.
According to a Sports Network report on the Food City 500, Logano had been challenging leader Jeff Gordon during the second half of the race, when Hamlin hit the back of his former Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, spinning Logano out.
"I think part of it's Bristol racing, but part of it's ridiculous," Logano said in response to Hamlin's behavior on the track, according to NASCAR.com. "Whatever … I feel like I race him clean all the time, and he's going to do that. I understand the way he races now that he's not my teammate, and I will race him the same way he races me."
Hamlin, for his part, insists he didn't intend to wreck his former teammate.
"I meant to run into him," Hamlin admitted. "I didn't mean to spin him out, but his day was fine. He still had a bad day anyway for whatever reason. You know, just, we finished bad and he finished bad. It's even."
As NASCAR.com reported, the Sunday altercation between the two drivers didn't end on the track:
After parking and dismounting, Logano leaned his head into the cockpit of Hamlin's Toyota. Words were exchanged before a Hamlin crewman pulled Logano away. That escalated into a full-fledged scuffle as the fans ... roared with approval.
“He said he was coming for me,” Hamlin told AOL Sporting News when asked what Logano said to him during their face-off. “I usually don't see him, so it's usually not a factor.”
“If we didn’t [have issues], we do now,” Logano said, per AOL.
Hamlin and Logano, who were teammates for four years before Logano joined Penske Racing this season, have also taken to Twitter to continue their bickering.
Hey @dennyhamlingreat job protecting that genius brain of yours by keeping your helmet on
— Joey Logano (@joeylogano) March 17, 2013
— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) March 17, 2013