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« Empty Seats May Simply Become a Fixture for Bristol Spring Race | Main | Fans Deliver High Grades for the Racing at Auto Club Speedway »

Tony Stewart Has a Short Fuse and a Short Memory

By admin | March 24, 2013

 A post-race scuffle between Joey Logano and Tony Stewart livened things up in Fontana

By Richard Allen

After the ending of the Auto Club 400 in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday afternoon, Tony Stewart made his way over to the parked car of Joey Logano on pit road and engaged in a brief scuffle with the driver who he believes blocked him on the race’s final restart. At the end of the action packed final laps, Logano wound up 3rd while Stewart had faded to 22nd at the checkered flag.

The field took the green flag for the final time on lap 189 with Kyle Busch and Logano making up the front row in the double-file restart. Stewart, who had lined up just behind Logano, made a bid for the lead on the low side but the #22 Penske Racing Ford moved low and took away the line. From that moment, Logano and Denny Hamlin engaged in a fierce battle for the top spot before taking each other out in the final turn and allowing Busch to sweep by and claim the win.

It was at that point when Stewart stalked Logano on the cool down lap, climbed from his car and sought out his rival.

Stewart’s reaction might seem justified if it were not for the inconvenient facts provided by history.

The three time Sprint Cup champion has always had a short fuse when it comes to being blocked on the track. Last August in Bristol, Matt Kenseth said Stewart was angry with him because of a blocking incident at Indianapolis and that led to an incident between the two drivers as they raced for the lead on the high banked half-mile.

According to Kenseth, Stewart had promised pay back upon anyone who blocked his advances on the track.

But despite his vows of retribution, it was Stewart who threw a block that wrecked virtually the whole field in Talladega last October. He himself admitted as much in his post-race interview.

“I just screwed up. I turned down and cut across Michael and crashed the whole field,” Stewart saidafter a last lap crash last year in Talladega. “It was my fault, blocking and trying to stay where I was at.

“I was trying to win the race and I was trying to stay ahead of Matt(Kenseth) there and Michael(Waltrip) got a great run on the bottom and had a big head of steam, and when I turned down, I turned across the front of his car. Just a mistake on my part but cost a lot of people a bad day.”

In his post race interview in California, Logano said words very similar to those. Essentially, he was trying to win the race and knew his chances would be lost if he allowed Stewart to get by.

I am no fan of Joey Logano, Tony Stewart or even Denny Hamlin for that matter so I have no real rooting interest here. However, it just seems odd that Stewart is so unforgiving of someone who committed the same act he did just a few short months ago.

No matter what side you may take, the great thing is that there is finally some real emotion in NASCAR. And more importantly, the drivers actually look as if it means something to win races rather than just settle for “a good points day”.

Topics: Articles |

35 Responses to “Tony Stewart Has a Short Fuse and a Short Memory”

  1. Tony Geinzer Says:
    March 24th, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I feel Joey Jerk has climbed up very high in the NASCAR Dean of Disclipline Demerit Order,Rich.

  2. Offkilter Says:
    March 24th, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Great article, Rich. Blocking is part of racing… Especially toward the end. I could understand if he was just miffed at logano for making him do some work, but dam, stewart had a “come apart” over it that would make you think that logano had just wreck him, the 39 and for good measure the 10 as he waited for her to catch up on the cool down lap.

    I thought it was a really good race considering it was california. I’m glad logano mixed it up like he did. I’ve never really cared or kept up with logano, but its good to see him mix it up and be on the giving end for a change.

    It was good to see jr recover from a bad pit stop and finish 2nd. A real act of class to shrug it off and encourage his crew.

    Not so classy was kyle busch being too eager and busy giving us another one of his “patting himself on the back” speech in victory lane and not mentioning any concern over denny’s well-being.

  3. Lydia Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 7:09 am

    You know Rich you’re right…(it pains me to say..Stewart is my guy)…Stewart did take out most of the field in Talladega due due to blocking. I would imagine Stewart was angry to see a potential top three finish melt away after such a dismal start to his season. Stewart seems to be a fairly courtieous driver..so maybe the fact Joey kept blocking and running him down the apron ticked him off. I don’t know the background between Stewart and Logono on track but maybe there were instances that have tallied up in Stewart’s mind. In the recent past Stewart has not retaliated against the “offending” driver..but this mixup with Logono and Stewart’s dismal start to the season may “trigger” the ghost of Stewart past…and we may see the reincarnation of Terrible Tony on track riding high and taking no prisoners.
    My well wishes go out to Hamlin..I hope he has no serious injuries.

  4. Benjamin P. Glaser Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 7:25 am

    I became a fan of Joey Logano yesterday, but thanks to NASCAR’s absurd merchandising store they have zero things to purchase with Logano’s #22 on it for a vehicle.

  5. Bill B Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 7:27 am

    From some of the articles I’ve read so far it seems Tony is the only one that has forgotten about Talladega last year.

    I hate blocking but it’s part of the sport. It isn’t going anywhere and had the roles been reversed I am certain that Tony would have done the same thing.

    What a hypocrite. I just hope he keeps getting asked about how yesterday differed from Talladega last year, over and over in the next couple of weeks.

  6. Carl Watson Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Anyone remember Tony Stewart vs Regan Smith at Dega in 2008? Tony threw the block, forcing Regan below the yellow line to avoid a wreck, and as a result NASCAR penalized Smith because he went below the yellow line and awarded Stewart the victory. This decision seemed to run contrary to what NASCAR had said and done when it came to the truck race prior.

    Tony’s block, and NASCAR’S subsequent ruling, would go on to have an impact in how drivers raced each other at the plate tracks for years to come.

    Now, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Stewart’s abilities behind the wheel, he has given some of the best post race interviews of all time, and I generally like him, but, he’s no saint when it comes to blocking either.

    If this was lap 40, then absolutely he’s right and Logano’s a moron, but in the final laps of a race going for a win, Logano owes him all of jack squat in terms of yielding a line. Equally, if Tony had held his line and Logano spun himself out trying to block, I wouldn’t fault Tony. It’s the beginning of the season with no championship on the line, and it’s for the win, so you should expect your opponents are going to try as hard as they can to beat you and show little or no quarter.

  7. Lydia Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 7:43 am

    To Bill B.
    Maybe the difference (in a drivers mind) is because Stewart thought he had field cleared (at Talladega), misjudged, and took total responsibility..
    Joey intentionally ran Stewart down the apron a few times, wasn’t moving forward, and took no responsibility except “that’s the way it goes”. I think we forget there is a crossover from the track to “real life”…if one commits a mistake, owns up to it..most are likely to forgive. If you err..and pretty much say tough cookies…it makes it hard for others to accept. Just saying….

  8. Jesse Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Thank you Rich,thats what I feel about all three of these drivers, Tony when he ran Sprints here in Indiana was known as a real jerk, I am all about the real Amrican cars but Tony drives and acts like one of the Toyota drivers and with Harvick coming over next year what a match.

  9. Tom Nasella Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Let Tony also not forget how he ran Matt Kenseth into the grass heading toward turn one at a Daytona race. I guess Tony thinks no one is EVER supposed to race him hard as in the past he’s said, “He was racing me too hard too early in the race.” Now he’s upset that someone raced him hard at the end of a race. Hey, Pilsbury, is anyone allowed to race you hard or are they supposed to just let you by?

  10. Richard Allen Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 8:08 am

    In a story by Nate Ryan of USA Today, Roger Penske says Tony Stewart is “one of the best in the business” at blocking. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nascar/2013/03/24/roger-penske-joey-logano-tony-stewart-denny-hamlin/2016373/

  11. Driver X Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Owner Felix Sabates said on Siruis Nascar radio after the race: “I love Tony, he’s my friend but he was wrong to go after Joey like that. Joe did nothing wrong..” Felix continued, “Tony has to remember that being an owner, you can’t act like that, throwing punches and cursing on tv. Tony needs to apologize to Joey.”

  12. Art Workman Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Tony Stewart needs his to check some footage of his Blocks….he crashed the top 20 cars in Talladega last Oct. .but nobody came to take a shot at him …He and Harvick seem to think they have exclusive rights to the racetrack. So we’re gonna have Stewart, Harvick and Newman on the same team. I bet neither one of these a**hloes would have walked up to BIG E. like they do todays drivers …and look at the size of Joey, Do you think Tony would go after someone with firepower?….Like maybe…. Carl Edwards…I BET HE WOULD APPROACH HIM WITH A DIFFERNT ATITUDE

  13. Larry Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Look, I’m no fan of Logano. But, Logano did nothing wrong blocking Steward. It’s the final laps and you are going for the win and I wouldn’t blame any driver for blocking to stay in the lead and go for the win. And, I would almost bet you money that if Steward had been in the same position he would have done the same. And furthermore, that contact with Logano and Hamlin was just plain hard racing with both drivers going for the win. Had it not been for Hamlin’s cheap shot last week Logano may have backed off a little but after last week he wasn’t going to back off and was going for the win. Again, Logano did nothing wrong in either incident yesterday either with Steward or with Hamlin. You do what you have to do to win the race. And, if Hamlin had been on the inside he probably would have done the same thing. Hamlin even admitted last week that he intentionally hit Logano so what did he expect him to do just roll over and give him the win yesterday? The biggest thing I hate about yesterday was Busch getting the race handed to him by Hamlin/Logano wrecking. No way Busch would have won that race without that incident. Tony needs to man up this week and apoligize big time for the deal with Logano. You see that blocking just about every week in Nascar and like I said Tony would have done the same thing if he had been leading.

  14. Buddynoel Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 10:09 am

    What most people are forgetting is that the Auto Club 500 had a reputation as the most boring race all year - a real snoozer and such a loser that NASCAR took away the second race. It was no mistake that Auto Club chose to sponsor the one driver that managed to drive so over his head that he moved the NCAA Basketball Tourney to Page 2. My congrats go to Joey Logano who gave us a final two laps worth the price of a ticket.

  15. DC Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Maybe because Tony has anger management issues and a giant ego? He’s one of the biggest hypocrites in the sport. It will be nice to see someone give him a bloody nose after a race one of these days.

  16. Bill B Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Lydia.
    In reading most of these responses it seems you are the only one that sees it that way.

  17. steven Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Logano didn’t deliberately start that crash. He just ran out of talent which should come as no surprise to anyone.

  18. Mike Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Stewart is just like J Johnson,

  19. Liam Skye Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 11:34 am

    I agree with Tony on this one. Blocking is part of racing but this was something different than blocking. Logano spun his tires on the restart and then dropped down on Tony when Tony tried to go around him. By doing this Logano made his problem, which he had caused himself, Tony’s problem. This is no different than if he had dropped down on Tony when he was blowing up or losing tire pressure. It was a cheap, dirty move. If I were Tony I would have wrecked Logano and then I would have punched him.

  20. jay Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I think it’s more than just Logano blocking. Ever since he came to Cup, he has rubbed alot of proven veterans the wrong way. Biffle, Harvick, Newman, Bowyer, Montoya, Hamlin, Truex, and Stewart. He has never shown veterans any kind of respect on or off the track.

    While his block was not totally wrong, Logano pulled in front of Denny three times before Denny finally wrecked him last week. He wrecks Newman at Michigan a couple years ago, and blamed Newman for running too hard. He disrespected Biffle when Biffle tried to discuss an incident in the NW series. Thats why Biffle ran him into the wall. There are others but the point is, the kid has a sense of entitlement that is not earned.

  21. Mike Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Darrel said earlier that Nascar was looking hard at re-starts. How did Tony get such a run on Joey? By laying back, remember when Nascar black flagged you for laying back and getting a jump on the car in front of you? The 2 brake checking the field last week cost him and Nascar let it go. Good for them cause it is about time. He didn’t spin the tires untill he brake checked the fiels and the 11 raised his rear tires off the ground for him.

  22. ricky Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Joey is learning from his team mate Brad K.Brad had to deal with all of the bullies of the sport in his Nationwide days..

    Harvick,Edwards, Hamlin, Busch each took a shot at roughing BK up but he didn’t back down.Who is Champion? and who who have none?
    One of my favorite memories is Brian Vickers putting Smoke up on the tire wall at a road course. This after Stewart blocked while proclaiming that he would get even with anyone who blocked him

  23. Art Workman Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Tony said “If it’s gonna be LET “EM HAVE IT, then you should LET ‘EM HAVE IT! And when the first person hits the ground ,it’s over!”
    Well said Tony! Hopefully someone gives ya what YOU been asking for!

  24. ron hill Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    please does tony the tiger really think any nascar fan would belive if it were reversed tony would just let lagano go strolling by him…….please he would run over his mother to win ( remember these words from tonys own mouth ) someone needs to take tony behind the haulers and teach him what reality is. All i can say is to quote daryl waldrip if my drive did not try to win this race because of a little banging and blocking then he would fire them. Go joey your starting to grow up and your fan base is growing ……hope denny not hurt seriously …….and tony no one ran into you ……you finished 22 …..please

  25. Charles Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    This thing about Tony Stewart and blocking goes a lot farther back than most people realize. After all, this is the same guy that ran Arie Luyendyk into the grass in the 1997 Indianapolis 500 at about 215 MPH, and ran Mike Skinner into the grass at Talladega in 1999, igniting a crash in which Jeff Gordon took a wicked hit from Rusty Wallace. He even threw a block on Dale, Sr. in the qualifying races earlier in 1999, to which Dale, Sr. took none too kindly to. So Tony actually has a long history of blocking, yet takes offense when it happens to him.

    Now sure, he’s wrecked some that have tried to block him. a case in point occurred at the end the 2009 Firecracker 400 when Kyle Buch tried to block him, and ended up starting a huge wreck in which Kasey Kahne practically submarined Kyle Busch. But I don’t remember anyone flatly wrecking him when he tried to block someone. But he blows a fuse every time a driver races him too hard at the finish of a race. A classic case would be the 2005 Daytona 500 in which Jimmie Johnson did nothing but what he was supposed to do, and Stewart got mad at him for no reason.

    But Stewart is perhaps the most vicious blocker in NASCAR history. Just look at he 2004-2006 Daytona 500s for a great example. He, above all other drivers, has no room to talk about and criticize others for blocking.

  26. Dan Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Tony Stewart is bi-polar, simple as that. In additioin the comments he made about Lagano were childish at best. His comment as to Joey not having to work for what he has is baseless, what did Stewart pay for his share of Gene Hass’ team, notta, nuttin, he was handed it because HE was Tony Stewart. Tony gave one of the most gracious, considerate post race/winners circle interviews after the Daytona Nationwide race in which several fans were injured and then 4 races later he acts like the spoiled kid that thinks he owns a certain part of the racetrack

  27. midasmicah Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    First of all, Tony Stewart is a good racer. But his self-centered, egotisical attitude gets old. He can dish it out, but he can’t take it. Secondly, a lot of people (including me) have watched Logano get shoved around since he came into the sport. He’s a different driver this year and that’s good. And he’s only 22. I became a Logano fan yesterday. As for Stewart, he needs to just shut up and drive. Good win Kyle!

  28. loose nut Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Other than Hamlin getting hurt,this is the kind of racing we want to see. Great to see drivers who will do what it takes to win! Tony is a bully and a hypocrite! He does no wrong.Wish someone would clean his teeth out!

  29. Lug nut Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Tony Stewart got a dose of his own medicine.

  30. Sue Rarick Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Here’s a question>

    Because Nascar didn’t have a safety barrier on that wall and that was a major resong Hamlin is in the hospital …… Is nascar going to fine itself for actions detrimental to the sport???
    A popular driver will probably miss some races and isn’t that a detriment?

  31. Annie Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    People keep your arguements in context pertaining to yesterdays race. Please be objective, yeah you don’t like Joey, blah blah blah, but on the restart with Tony he did nothing wrong and their was no spinning of tires. It was a clean restart! Tony is way out of line in his comments, I am surpised Nascar hasn’t talked to him seeing he made threathening statements and was swearing all over TV yesterday. It is worrisome, his vengeful mindset.

    As for Joey and Denny that was just good racing! As for the “respect” of those diva personalities some people mentioned, one could gather from their previous rants about Joey and others they want an open lane with no work or give and take. When a driver they kinda like does it “its racing” when a driver does it they don’t like….an enemy is born. Tony, Joey did what he had to do, its called racing. I have never seen a young man shoulder so much B.S. from supposed professionals. He is a better man than me!

    Tony’s mental health looked in question yesterday, he did himself no favors. Pee in a cup Tony…..you looked insane. You owe Joey an apology. Did you people ever stop to think that Joey is just the guy that bullies like to pick on, its looking that way to alot of us.

  32. kb Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Jay,

    The word in the garage Joey is one of the good guys, and is one of the better liked people. Just because the bullies want to keep him as their punching bag doesn’t mean they are right. And for the respect off the track what is Joey supposed to do..go to their house wash their cars, babysit their kids, shine their shoes? Come-on.

  33. cb Says:
    March 26th, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Art Workman said:

    “…and look at the size of Joey, Do you think Tony would go after someone with firepower?….Like maybe…. Carl Edwards…I BET HE WOULD APPROACH HIM WITH A DIFFERNT ATITUDE”

    That’s how bullies operate, they pick on the little guy. Ever seen a bully pick on someone bigger than them? Of course not because they’re cowards and afraid they’d get their a** kicked.

  34. Tyler West Says:
    March 26th, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Man, Lagano is doing his job. Stewart is the biggest a-hole in the sport, let’s not forget your damn job is to win at all costs. Lagano was racing hard, end of story! Hamlin is a bit of a bitch too. Joey needs to stand up for himself. If he can’t do that then he should not be there. Oh and last time I checked there is no driver in the series who is in the “poorhouse” including Joe Nemecheck. Stewart needs to shut his fat ass up. It’s racing not……..I’ll let you bye because your a former 3 time champ. Good ole hard racing!! Loved it! Not someone getting hurt but hey there was no protection on that wall and the driver has had issues with his back in the past.

  35. Driver X Says:
    March 27th, 2013 at 8:08 am

    I forgot about all those Stewart blocking episodes, glad you could recall them. Stewart gets a pass alot from Nascar. I remember a few years ago (about 10)at Daytona Stewart was confronted by Robbie Gordon and Robbie grabbed Stewart’s fire suit with two hands when Stewart tried to push him away and Tony’s eyes changed and had the look of a scared child. Tony is such a blow hard. His head got bigger when he had a fantastic 10 race run and was crown champion in a year he clearly was sub par, another reason the chase is problematic and a device used to create tv ratings…..PS : “No more Waltrips on the race broadcast, I can’t take the constant feeding of DW ego…”