NASCAR Drivers ‘Punch’ It Out On The Interwebs

CHARLOTTE, NC (August 5, 2013) – #FIBS.

Now that’s funny – and pretty pointed – especially if you’re from Wisconsin.

In today’s world where news is delivered on Twitter and punctuated by a #, Travis Kvapil’s tweet about his run-in with Danica Patrick in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Pocono Raceway was hilarious.

For Kvapil – a Janesville, WI native – it was the classic Badger state dig on someone who calls Illinois home.

Someone like Patrick for instance, who originally hails from Roscoe, IL.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, FIBS means ‘F**cking Illinois Bastards.’

Eat that, Danica.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not bagging on Kvapil. As someone who hails from both Illinois and Wisconsin, I found a chuckle in it. I also found it to be an example as to how much driver confrontations have changed.

Back in the early days of stock car racing, drivers had conversations face-to-face – not 140 characters or less global cyber dust ups in public forums like Twitter or Facebook. If a driver had a ‘beef’ with another competitor, they’d get nose to nose, swear it out, and maybe even exchange a punch or two.

By the time this writer had hit the stock car trail full-time in the early 1990’s, sponsorship had become a large part of success of motorsports and drivers needed to be more accountable. There was still plenty of conflict, swearing once and awhile, but a punch or two got pretty rare.

Most of the time, things never got more physical than what commonly became called the ‘dance’ – where everyone pushes, shoves, and hugs each other a little.

‘Yeah, they just danced around a little’ was the quip in the garage area if you asked someone about an altercation afterward.

These days, nobody even ‘dances’ much. And you sure the hell don’t see anyone rolling around on the ground punching each other either.

Instead, drivers ‘tweet fight.’

Travis throws a double jab – one at Danica – the other at the entire state of Illinois.

Nice combo.

Meanwhile, Internet ‘tough guy’ Denny Hamlin fires a haymaker tweet at former driver now media maven Kyle Petty Sunday at Pocono – ‘Kyle petty is a moron.’

Down goes Petty! Down goes Petty!



We’ve entered a new dimension Spock. It’s an era where NASCAR drivers from the defending champion Brad Keselowski on down those on the bottom of the standings – like Hamlin this season – fight their ‘fights’ in virtual reality.

Most like Kvapil throw their tweets out there as a humorous update for their fans – but also as a pointed reminder of their frustration with rivals like Partick (who has swept him into wrecks in two of the last three events.)

Others – like Hamlin, Keselowski and Joey Logano for instance – like to ‘muscle up’ on the web.

Tweet tough, be tough.

Bottom line – almost all drivers openly express displeasure with fellow competitors, the sanctioning organization, and comment about all other forms of societal events on the ‘Interwebs’ these days.

Freely and willingly – and with no filter.

Wanna take a shot at somebody?

Just rattle off something pithy on your phone or pad and hit send baby.

Eat that.


The funny thing is those throwing the most punches on Twitter – you know who you are – somehow wind up taking quite a few shots back.

Imagine that?

Then again, that’s what you get when you go for the KO punch in a public forum.

It’s a slippery slope.

First, you can be pretty sure the one you are swinging at is going to be punching back with their own little 70-character poem.

Meanwhile – hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of others – will be offering witticisms thanks to your making your on-line drama a global phenom.

Talk about a Pier 6 brawl!

Everyone enjoys a good fight. And, honestly, this new Internet tweet fighting is better than the old school battles of lore – the ones I so fondly remember.

Now, I get a ringside view without leaving my easy chair. And, as in most fights, someone usually comes out looking a little silly or stupid.

Someone even gets bloodied once and awhile – except since it’s in the Internet, it’s just virtual baby.

Keep the tweet fights coming gang.

It’s almost better than the racing sometimes.

JC out.


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