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NASCAR Hurt By Lack Of Rivalries?

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NEW YORK (CBS SPORTS) - Yankees-Red Sox. Bears-Packers. Heat-Celtics. Bruins-Canadiens.

Pick any professional sport, and rivalries punctuate the season. Teams and players who truly don’t like one another and will do anything to beat the arch-nemesis when they meet head-to-head are the foundation of any sport.

But such passion between competitors is in short supply around the NASCAR world.

NASCAR’s popularity was built on rivalries. Cale Yarborough and the Allison Brothers in the famous 1979 Daytona 500 brawl. Dale Earnhardt and the brash young Jeff Gordon. Richard Petty and David Pearson. Heck even Jimmy Spencer and Kurt Busch had its place in NASCAR lore.

Oh, there are drivers who don’t see eye to eye with fellow competitors and in any given race you can be sure to find at least a few duos not pleased with each other. However, good luck in terms of finding long-lasting, fierce dislike throughout today’s NASCAR garage area.

Even with the “Boys Have at It” era supposedly still in place, the fireworks at the Sprint Cup level have been few and far between. For whatever the reasons, there hasn’t been much in the way of fussin’ and feudin’ this season but, rather, a chorus of “Kumbaya.” It’s one of the reasons this year’s Chase just hasn’t generated any electricity among much of the fan base.

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