It was abundantly clear that Tony Stewart was NOT happy with Joey Logano after the checkered flag dropped to signal the end of the Auto Club 400 yesterday. After his wreck with Hamlin, Logano limped his battered car back to pit lane only to be blocked in by Stewart’s No. 14. It was then where complete chaos overtook our TV screens.
This drama all started after Logano blocked Stewart’s attempted pass on the last restart of the race. The block caused Stewart to lose momentum and turned what looked to be a top-5 to top-10 finish into a P22 final result. Stewart was not happy with Logano’s move and decided to let the young driver know after the race. Stewart nosed his race car up next to Logano’s on pit lane, climbed out, and all hell broke loose.
Stewart exchanged words and a few hard shoves before the altercation escalated and the pit crews became involved, including the GoDaddy crew and the Crew Chief of Danica Patrick. Logano got his two senses in during the scuffle by throwing a water bottle at Stewart.
“It’s time he learns a lesson,” Stewart said during a later interview. “He’s run his mouth long enough and done this double standard, but he’s nothing but a little rich kid who has never had to work in his life.”
Calling Logano out on a double standard caused quite the stir in the twitter universe. Let me take you back to Talladega 2012. On a G-W-C finish, Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, and a dozen or so other drivers were battling for the lead when Stewart throws a block on the No. 55 of Martin coming to the checkers. That said block caused a massive pile up before the start-finish line. Stewart’s block in Talladega was not a lot different than what Logano did on Stewart other than it was a different race track and different final outcome. Stewart took full blame for the chaos in Talladega and that was basically the end of it. (Watch the Dega wreck here)
Logano’s block on Sunday was small compared to Stewarts and Logano thinks he did nothing wrong.
“I had to throw the block there. That was a race for the lead.” Logano said after the race. “I felt if the 14 got underneath me that was going to be the end of my opportunity to win the race, so I was just trying to protect the spot I had.”
Logano was doing exactly what Stewart would have done if roles were reversed, but in the heat of the moment, and because of his final race standing, Stewart was not happy. NASCAR had its second brawl of the season and we are just five races into the schedule.
NASCAR fans shouldn’t complain about the entertainment on the track this weekend. Even Rookie driver Danica Patrick was impressed with the scenario and asked if she could to pull over on pit lane and watch the action involving her boss and pit crew unfold (I was tuned in to her radio for the entire race, she is quite a funny lady!).
Heading into a weekend break, there is only one thing that we can almost guarantee about Martinsville; bring on the drama. There will be no shortage of on and off-track action at The Paperclip and look for retaliation to come in many forms. Take note race fans, this is just the beginning of what is looking like a very eventful season.
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