Smoke vs. Busch? All good

February, 9, 2008
02/09/08
4:48
PM ET

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR needs Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch to despise one another. The sport could use a good ol' fashioned haymaker rivalry between a couple of old-school lay-it-on-the-mat bad boys.

These two certainly fit that bill.

In recent years, corporate America has tried to change them both. Like Play-Doh, they've been broken apart and pieced back together in a new form. Molded to someone else's liking. And while that Play-Doh may look different and may have new physical characteristics, it's still the same ol' Play-Doh.

Same with Stewart and Busch. They're fiery, and they're going to be fiery no matter how nice they play it to us.

Off-track issues have made both drivers more docile. Or at least that's the perception.

As a fan, I want them to trade paint on the track and trade jabs off it.

Now I'm not saying they can go running roughshod over the sport and pitching hissy fits every weekend. They can't go wrecking each other on purpose or driving recklessly when racing around one another. And certainly, they can't use race cars to retaliate, as Busch did Friday.

Too many guys back at Gibbs and Penske work entirely too hard on those cars, and don't deserve it.

I'm just saying a little rivalry tension never hurts. It keeps it interesting.

Word is Stewart tagged Busch in the kisser during their meeting in the NASCAR hauler Friday night. NASCAR, though, said it didn't happen that way.

But then again, NASCAR may not have heard the blow. The incessant ringing of the cash register was too loud.

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