Tempers flared following the checkered flag in the Super Late Model portion of the CARS Tour Throwback 276 at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Following the finish, Jeff Craig gave Bubba Pollard the bird after his son out-dueled the Super Late Model superstar in the closing stages of the race. That incited the 31-year-old, who marched over to the elder Craig and delivered several punches before they were separated by officials and sheriff deputies.
In victory lane, the younger Craig wasn’t sure why Pollard was upset, believing they raced each other clean.
“My car was starting to get tight free in and center,” Craig said of the finish. “I had to move up in Bubba’s lane to run. He wasn’t good on the bottom. I was taking his lane and running where my car was little better. I think taking his lane helped out a lot. I think he couldn’t get roll speed through the middle as I was blocking that lane.”
The two have a rivalry that dates back to this February 2018 crash at Greenville Pickens Speedway.
It wasn’t the way they raced that upset Pollard.
Matthew Craig walked over to the pile of humanity, Pollard still being checked in place by the deputies and looked over to his rival to see why he had punched his father. When Pollard saw the younger Craig, he explained his actions.
“Did I not just tell you that it was good hard racing? I could have taken you out at any point in time, but your ol’ man comes by and shoots me the bird,” Pollard said. “I’ve had enough.”
When the younger Craig went to reach out to Pollard, the superstar made yet another threat,
“Don’t touch me,” Pollard said in the scuffle. “Or I’ll knock you out too.”
Pollard declined official comment after the scuffle.
Craig was adamant that he raced Pollard the right way, which as Pollard made clear, wasn’t the point of contention.
“I’m not really sure,” the younger Craig said. “I never felt like I roughed him up. I feel like he started to roughen up, and he roughed me all the way to the checkers. I was able to stay out in front of him. We’ve had some PASS races where I roughed him up and he roughed me up. It’s a little rivalry going on.”