NASCAR: Greg Biffle-Boris Said rift OK
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There are lines in NASCAR's "have at it, boys'' philosophy that can't be crossed, and Boris Said and Greg Biffle apparently didn't cross them following Monday's Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International.
NASCAR president Mike Helton said on Tuesday he doesn't anticipate a penalty for either driver after an incident in which Biffle allegedly took a swing at Said through his car window and Said promised to hunt the Roush Fenway Racing driver down and give him a "whooping.''
"We'll follow it certainly, but based on what we've seen right now that fits the template of what we've allowed the drivers to work out for themselves,'' Helton said.
He is the most unprofessional little scaredy cat I've ever seen in my life. He wouldn't even fight me like a man after. So if someone texts me his address, I'll go see him Wednesday at his house and show him what he really needs.” -- Boris Said on Greg Biffle
Helton said you can't punish a driver for threatening to harm another away from the track.
"I don't know how you react to those type of things,'' he said. "Obviously, it's something you have to watch. If anything does happen there is a consideration for the premeditation to it.
"But I don't know how you can react to someone's comments at this point.''
Said told ESPN.com Tuesday morning he had not been contacted by NASCAR.
On Monday, Said accused Biffle of approaching his car in the garage after the race and taking a swing at him through the car window. So far NASCAR has found no video to substantiate whether a punch was thrown.
"I'm not sure that what we saw was a thrown punch,'' Helton said. "It's still kind of quick after the event, so we'll have to see if anything else comes out of it.''
What was captured on video and witnessed was Said climbing out of his car and trying to get to Biffle, who by then was behind several of his crewmen.
"He is the most unprofessional little scaredy cat I've ever seen in my life,'' Said said after the incident. "He wouldn't even fight me like a man after. So 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 ... whooping and I'm going to give it to him. He was flipping me off, giving me the finger. Totally unprofessional. Two laps down. I mean, he is a chump.''
Said, a road course specialist who finished 22nd, initiated a violent final lap crash involving Biffle's teammate, David Ragan, and David Reutimann. Both were released from the infield care center without major injuries.
But Said was more upset with Biffle, who finished 31st after running out of gas early, than the accident.
"He comes over and throws a few little baby punches and then when I get out he runs away and hides behind some big guys,'' Said said. "But he won't hide from me 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 at a race with a black eye one of these days. I'll see him somewhere."
Biffle was not available for comment, but later on Twitter said, "Let me tell you something, Boris 'the road course ringer' caused that wreck. He did the same thing to me earlier in the race off the carousel.''
He also wrote, "1st of all I want to make sure everyone sees the wreck between David and David. Now that's coming from a guy that says I'm unprofessional.''
Helton said all of that falls under the tolerances of "have at it, boys'' that was implemented before last season to give drivers more leeway to police the sport themselves.
"We didn't announce 'boys, have at it' to make the drivers more aggressive,'' Helton said. "It was all part of us giving more responsibilities to the race teams, including the drivers on and off (the track).
"What comes from that and always has, I think, is just the nature of sports. You celebrate and you feel the anxiety of not being able to celebrate and you get emotional. You get mad.''
Helton reminded that incidents which result from being mad often are the highlights shown on television and played up in print in all sports, whether it's a bench-clearing brawl in baseball or a fight in hockey and football.
"That's life,'' he said. "What our reaction was a few years ago was to make it too restrictive for a driver to act more human.''
Helton acknowledged the concern of some drivers about how far they can go. That came to a head earlier this year when Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch were fined $25,000 each and placed on probation for a post-race pit road incident at Darlington.
Tony Stewart questioned why that brought on penalties and other incidents didn't, asking for a clearer picture of the boundaries.
"I know there's great debate after Darlington where drivers said they didn't know what that means, that it's too gray,'' Helton said. "That's what happens when you are subjective about things.
"I think for them most part drivers understand a little bit more when something happens what we mean by that.''
David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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