There's a certain decadent pleasure in it all. The thrill of the tussle. It's two Nile crocs and one water buffalo. The last beer in the fridge and two grabbing hands. Two candidates, one presidency.
Edwards' bump-and-pass of Busch at Bristol, and their subsequent cool-down-lap flare-up sparked what could be a burgeoning rivalry that matters, though NASCAR's six-race probation for each is likely to cool things for awhile. Both were referencing a laundry list of slights amid their barbs on Saturday.
A look inside the battle.
Of course, Edwards feigned a punch at Kenseth after being enraged by a move at Martinsville last fall and Roush Fenway co-owner
Stewart was one of the first to chip at the easily accepted veneer of Edwards as the next American golden boy, likening him to TV character
Jimmie Johnson finished second to then rookie Edwards by .028 seconds in a hotly contested, but clean finish to the 2005 Atlanta spring race. The same year he won the Chase for the Championship race at Dover in extra laps by .080 seconds over Busch, then his rookie teammate. Though Johnson was leading the standings and bidding for his first title (he didn't win), he finished the race with Busch rat-a-tatting his rear bumper and Hendrick management's stomach in collective ropes
Said Johnson: "I think Carl has a little more age, a little more maturity on his side. It's not taking anything away from Kyle, but I think Carl has just been there, done that, a few more times. I've all along said I would put the championship -- if I was to see the championship, I would go off the experience, and he's won more championships and on down the line. And with that kind of ranking system in my eyes, Carl would be a step ahead of Kyle. But everyone needs to win their first and there are going to be guys out there breaking records, and Kyle has done that this year.
So it's tough to really say in my opinion. Carl is a little more laid back. Kyle seems to be a little more high-strung from time to time. But that doesn't tilt it one way or the other."
"He gets out of the car and smiles," Gilmore told the
Grab a tire iron, Kyle. You've seen all those magazine covers. Edwards is ripped. And don't bother to run; he's apparently an endurance athlete, too. He did date