What code? NASCAR drivers lament lack of on-track etiquette

NASCAR

Ross Chastain (42) and Alex Bowman (48) get sideways during a NASCAR Cup series auto race Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Talladega, Ala. (AP Photo/Greg McWilliams)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tensions are high at every level of NASCAR as its grueling, 11-month season enters the homestretch with three weeks remaining to crown three series champions.

All eyes had been on feuding drivers Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick, but NASCAR last week demanded the they knock it off — a directive that sucked all the drama out of what could have been a nail-biting rivalry capable of derailing Elliott’s shot at a second consecutive Cup Series title.

Still, there’s been enough bumping and banging through the field in all three series that “driver code” and “etiquette” hang heavy over the championship races.

Should non-playoff drivers literally move out of the way of title contenders? Are drivers taking too many risks trying to make it to the championship round? Both are viable questions based on the racing of late.

Denny Hamlin and Chase Briscoe have twice tangled on tracks this season and last Sunday’s contact in Texas led to a heated back and forth between the two on Instagram.

Tyler Reddick apologized to William Byron earlier this month at Charlotte, where they had an on-track incident and Byron was ultimately eliminated from the playoffs. Byron admitted he was “at a full rage” and Reddick assured him he understood the stakes for Byron that day.

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