Denny Hamlin and Kyle Petty have been critical of each other after their crash on lap 204 of Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Dover, which has put the former last in the Chase while the latter tries to remain in the top 35 in owner points.
Hamlin was trying to move up the field after losing some places in the pits, having led the race early on, when he came up behind Petty's lapped car exiting turn four.
Hamlin's car hit the back of Petty's Dodge and both hit the wall hard. Also caught up in the crash was Clint Bowyer, who hit Petty's car with his right front corner.
"It's a shame that a guy with that much talent has to drive like that," Petty said about Hamlin. "We've seen it a lot. We've seen it all year long. Even his teammate Tony Stewart talked about it. I think it pretty much speaks for itself.
"We were a little bit loose. I guess it's my fault. I watched the Busch race yesterday and I knew Denny was sick, I just didn't know he was hallucinating and needed three lanes to get up off the corner because he ran all over us. I guess he is in a race by himself."
As Hamlin waited in the garage inside his car while his team carried out repairs, Petty went to confront the Joe Gibbs Racing driver, aggressively pushing down the visor on his helmet. Hamlin apparently remained calm, although after a while he left his car in pursuit of Petty, but his crew were quick to stop him.
"Don't smack me on the helmet," Hamlin said. "You smack me on the helmet, and I'm going to punch you in the face, bottom line. So I'd like for him to call me sometime this week, before next week. You don't come to my car, you don't come to my pit, you meet me somewhere else and we'll settle it.
"I have the utmost respect for Kyle. But don't lay your hands on my head."
Hamlin finished the race in 38th after lengthy repairs to his car and is now 12th in the Chase. Meanwhile Petty could not rejoin the race and is currently 34th in the owner points, 106 ahead of the 36th-placed car of Bill Davis, driven by Dave Blaney.
Another bad finish from him, coupled with a good result for Blaney who didn't make the field for Sunday's race at Dover, could put Petty out of the top 35 who have a guaranteed starting spot on the grid for every race.