JOILET, Ill. - Just as predictable as the weekend fender bashing is the awkward conversation a few days later.
This time, it was Elliott Sadler and Regan Smith. And they talked, too. Even Dale Earnhardt Jr. waded into the fray.
The latest NASCAR feud arrived at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday when Sadler, Smith and rest of the Nationwide drivers held two practice sessions for today's STP 300. The stop in suburban Chicago comes one week after the championship contenders got into a heated discussion after last week's Nationwide race in Loudon, N.H.
"For him to do what he did at New Hampshire, I'm still ticked about it," Sadler said. "But we talked and we agree that our racing's going to change a little bit between us. But we know that we're going to be racing around each other a lot between now and Homestead."
That means the dispute could have staying power, especially after the conversation between Sadler and Smith produced little headway.
It all started when Smith spun Sadler around on the final restart in the July 13 race at Loudon, costing him a shot at a solid top-10 finish and a potential $100,000 bonus.
An angry Sadler then confronted Smith after the race, insisting he would not win the series title this year.
"I made the move and I can't take it back," Smith said. "I understand his anger 100 percent, and I know exactly where he was coming from. He was racing for a lot of money and the opportunity to race for a lot of money again this week."
MORRISON, Colo. - Defending Pro Stock champion Allen Johnson topped Mile-High NHRA Nationals qualifying Saturday for the fourth straight year and fifth time overall.
Seeking his fifth victory at Bandimere Speedway and fourth in the past five years, Johnson claimed the top spot with a 6.949-second run at 198.23 mph in a Dodge Avenger.
Steve Torrence led the Top Fuel field, breaking the track speed record at 319.60 mph, finishing in 3.880 seconds.