It is a certainty that drivers with short fuses are entertaining to watch. We do get a kick out of a Tony Stewart tirade as well as a Kevin Harvick beat-down. Things like that draw in the fans, as it adds a level of drama to the high-speed world of NASCAR. Granted, in the heat of battle when all things are on the line, emotions get tuned up a bit. But a couple of fender-benders on pit road following the race and a few snide remarks to an ESPN camera don’t even come close to the following drivers. While these five are the most vocal when they feel like they’ve been wronged, we can’t accuse them of not having any passion for the sport they (and we) love.
5. Danica Patrick
Although she hasn’t had the success she has hoped for throughout the course of her career, if there is one thing that we can give Patrick, it’s that she has a temper that has put her in some entertaining situations.
Although this can be attributed to size (at 5’2” she is one of the smallest drivers), the fact of the matter is that she is a competitive individual who has fought for her place in the garage.
She has stood her ground against her competition in the IndyCar series, where she famously feuded with Dan Wheldon, and she has also taken several NASCAR drivers to task, including Sam Hornish Jr. and her boyfriend, fellow rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
4. Kurt Busch
Busch’s temper is legendary in NASCAR. While he has done more harm than good with his temper, he has famously gone toe-to-toe with Jimmy Spencer and Kevin Harvick as well as other drivers.
But perhaps the most popular incident with his temper happened at Homestead in 2011. After going to the garage early in the event, Busch embarked on a tirade that was aimed toward ESPN reporter Dr. Jerry Punch. The incident was recorded by a fan and was put online, and Busch’s career has suffered since.
Busch has been on the comeback trail since that fateful day in November 2011, yet when it comes to his temper, we haven’t seen the last of it.
3. Kyle Busch
If Busch is known for anything else besides winning, it’s his temper. He has an attitude that is worse than his older brother’s, and yet while the bad attitude thing works for guys like Harvick and Stewart, it doesn’t work for Busch.
Busch isn’t satisfied when he finishes second, and that is fine. However, his short fuse has led to more tantrums than blowups, and that is one reason many fans accuse him of whining. However, Busch has been known to blow up on other drivers who may be considered “smaller” in the NASCAR hierarchy.
Page 2 of 2 - He’s famously feuded with David Reutimann as well as a run-in with John Andretti at Texas Motor Speedway in 2009 that ended poorly for Busch. In 2009 following the August Nationwide race at Michigan, Busch had another run-in with former Hendrick teammate Brian Vickers.
Busch’s passion is evident when he leaves the track after finishing second without saying a word, but his shenanigans can get him in trouble when he drives tough but fails to back it up by running from other drivers.
2. Kevin Harvick
“Happy” Harvick is an enigma. For one, he’s a driver with a very strong sense of humor, and very rarely do we see him without a smile on his face.
However, Harvick has been known to gleefully go after other drivers who have wronged him, all the while still sporting that same winning smile. As a matter of fact, when Harvick infamously went after Greg Biffle in 2002, he sported that grin on his face before and after throttling Biffle on pit road.
Same thing happened in 2011 at Darlington, when Harvick doggedly chased Kyle Busch following the race. Had he finally got his hands on Busch I’m sure Harvick would have happily pummeled him.
He’ll handle his issues his own way, and no matter what anyone else tries, God help those who get on Harvick’s bad side.
1. Tony Stewart
Does it come as a surprise that Stewart takes the top spot on this list? He didn’t come by the moniker “Tempestuous Tony” without cause.
Stewart is known for speaking his mind, be it to the crowds or to other drivers. He isn’t afraid of the consequences of his actions. If something needs to be said or done, just ask Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Steve Kinser or any member of the media who has managed to ask Stewart a stupid question.
Stewart hasn’t apologized for his actions, and we don’t expect him to. Stewart without the attitude just isn’t feasible.