March 23, 2013; Fontana, CA, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano (22) speaks with a crew member during practice for the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Where Is The Outrage Over Violence In NASCAR? If It Was The NHL, It Would Be Banned

You know it is frustrating for hockey fans in Canada that their pride and joy is not more than a fringe sport throughout much of the United States.  It is growing a little in popularity, but still the only time it seems to hit the radar of the mainstream media in the US  is when something goes horribly wrong (Marty McSorley, Todd Bertuzzi for two examples).

February 1, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings right wing Todd Bertuzzi (44) during the game against the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

While those incidents are not forgivable, and definitely a black eye on the sport, something happened in another major North America sport this past weekend that really bothered me, and apparently not a lot of others.

While the NHL and NASCAR are both considered high speed, contact sports, there seems to be more acceptance of misdeeds by NASCAR drivers, and they are lucky someone hasn’t been killed.

Because while hockey is largely man to man, hand to hand combat when the disagreements arise, NASCAR drivers seem to enjoy using the 3,400 lbs of metal underneath them to settle differences.  It happened this past weekend at the race on Sunday, the Nascar Sprint Cup  Auto Club 400 race.

Granted, I have little more than a passing interest in NASCAR, as seeing drivers turn left for 400 or 500 miles isn’t my idea of an enjoyable Sunday afternoon.  Maybe I don’t get it, or appreciate it, but that is just me.  There are plenty of you out there that do, so more power to you, its your choice.  However, every so often I do tune in to a few laps just to see what the fuss is about.

During Sunday’s race I was flipping around and caught the last couple of laps of the NASCAR race.  The final lap featured a crash between Joey Logano and  Denny Hamlin, who were battling for the race lead.  Logano clipped Hamlin and Hamlin spun out and crashed his car.

I know,  like Robert Duvall said, “rubbin’ is racin’,” right?  Just two “good old boys” going for a win, at all costs.  Well you would think so, and accidents do happen at high speeds.  That explains some of the popularity of the sport. That is, until you read the quotes from Logano after the race.  From


“He (Hamlin) probably shouldn’t have done what he did last week, so that’s what he gets,”


There was obviously intent, so I did a little looking back to find out why.  It turns out these two drivers were former teammates who have recently crossed paths with some bad blood and they have developed quite the feud over time.

However, it appeared to me from an outsider’s point of view that Logano decided that getting some measure of revenge was more important than winning the race.  Whatever, that is his choice.

However, the result of the crash was a broken back for Hamelin.

Yet there is no Bertuzzi-like outrage among media members, especially the U.S. media who made such a big deal out of the Todd Bertuzzi and Marty McSorely incidents and basically put the game of hockey on trial.

Logano is no better than Bertuzzi or McSorely, and in fact, is probably even worse because he outright admitted it was intentional and that he essentially gave Hamlin what he deserved. At least McSorley and Bertuzzi showed some form of sympathy and regret after their respective incidents with Donald Brashear and Steve Moore.

Where is the media crying out for NASCAR to ban Logano for life from the sport, as they did to McSorley and Bertuzzi?  At least in hockey for the most part, rightly or wrongly, challenges are issued and answered man to man.  To my knowledge Logano or his crew did not radio Hamlin and his crew to challenge him to a duel going down the backstretch, or let him know what was coming.  No he used his 3,400 pound car as a weapon and nearly killed his adversary.

Rubbin’ is racin’?  Well you can have it.

I’m sticking with puck.

Tags: Denny Hamlin Donald Brashear Joey Logano Marty Mcsorley Nascar NHL Steve Moore Todd Bertuzzi

  • Pj

    As a nascar fan and a hockey fan I found some issues with your article. For one, when joey said “thats what he gets” after the race, he had no idea denny was hurt. Yesterday he apologized for saying that as it was taken out of context. When joey meant was simply that he didnt win the race, and thats “what he gets” As for “challenges” they are made after a previous race or going into the next race. If someone races you hard one week, you race them hard the next.

    good article, but those 2 points really make the difference

    • Jared Crozier

      Fair enough, but this isn’t an isolated incident in NASCAR and seems to be accepted more, despite being far more dangerous to use a car as a weapon as opposed to a stick or a fist.

  • Bryant Douglass

    As a NASCAR fan and one who covers it here for FanSided, NSACAR is desperate to get ratings and attendance back up. In the process of it all though, they’ve made some hypocritical decision about penalties and the fighting.

  • Michael Blevins

    As I see it, Lagano slid up into Hamlin. He did not turn into him. Intent makes a huge difference to me. When an NHL player raises his stick up above his head and then slams it down into an opposing players face that is intentional beyond a shadow of a doubt. When two players collide each one having not seen the other until it was too late that is accidental. What happened between Lagano and Hamlin could be seen as accidental very easily. These heavy cars can lose traction and slide up the banking at any time and that happens almost every race to nearly every driver. It is the unquestionable intent of hurting an opponent in sports that I would like to see punished very severely. There is just no place for that in sports. Several years ago Albert Haynesworth (then a Titan) spiked a Dallas Cowboy in the face after the play was over and then took a step or two away from him and turned around and came back and did it again. That Dallas player wound up with many stitches and permanent nerve damage and scarring. That is what I mean by unquestionable intent. Had I been the NFL commissioner that would have been Mr. Haynesworth’s last game in the NFL. Sometimes these guys in NASCAR do go over that line and act with unquestionable intent. When they do they should be suspended for a good long while at the very least. These sports cause enough injuries and permanent disabilities just by their violent, accident prone natures and any incident of unquestionable intent to injure should never be tolerated.