Fighting in NASCAR isn't a surprise — there are plenty of moments during a race that can make a driver angry. That was no different during Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway.
Kaulig Racing's Chandler Smith, who is a rookie in the series, had an on-track run-in with veteran driver Jeb Burton of Jordan Anderson Racing. Burton is the son of 2002 Daytona 500 champion Ward Burton — and, like his dad, he isn't afraid to get after another driver about how he is raced. It all started on the final lap of the race, when Burton claims Smith tried to wreck him twice. Burton was eventually turned out of the way by Smith's No. 16.
Here is the incident that had Jeb Burton so heated with Chandler Smith today: pic.twitter.com/LvIjpC1iGv
— Toby Christie (@Toby_Christie) June 4, 2023
Burton wasn't thrilled with Smith, and things boiled over on the pit lane following the race. Burton was clearly mad, and his radio communication echoed his sentiment. He threatened that he was going to give Smith a "broke f—-ing nose" for his on-track mess. Burton approached Smith following the race, and the two got into it. A crew member from Kaulig stepped in and appeared to put Burton in a headlock.
— Kyle Dalton (@kdsportswriter) June 3, 2023
Luckily, no punches were thrown, but Burton still said he "let [his] fists do the talking" in a follow-up interview. It's clear that he and Smith aren't on good terms—or it's more that Burton is sick of getting no respect from a lot of the younger drivers in the series. There seems to be a lot of that going around all three NASCAR Series garages.
"There's nothing to talk about. I let my fists do the talking."
-Jeb Burton on his altercation with Chandler Smith and Kaulig:
— Frontstretch (@Frontstretch) June 4, 2023
This tussle is a perfect example of how frustrated some drivers have been lately. Many were able to hear Burton's frustration over his in-car radio before the drivers even exchanged words on the pit lane.
"He tried wrecking me in the final corner, he tried wrecking me in turn 1, then he finally wrecking me in turn 4," Burton said before the confrontation. "He's going to get a broke f—-ing nose after this race. Daddy's not gonna be able to help him in a bit."
The two drivers' relationship has already been rocky, with Smith previously making a comment at Talladega about Burton not being the sharpest tool in the shed.
Both drivers have won races this season and are in the Xfinity Playoffs, so they might want to cut the back-and-forth—especially on Twitter.
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