NASCAR: Stewart’s Win Pushes Hypocrisy Front And Center

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

NASCAR fans, like most fans can be a bit hypocritical at times. Sunday was a prime example of that after three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart won for the first time since 2013.

2016 is the last season that Tony Stewart is going to run in NASCAR. Much like 2015 was all about last-times for Jeff Gordon, this season has been the same for Stewart. The only difference is that Gordon had run better in 2015 than Stewart had this season. However, that all changed on Sunday in Sonoma when Stewart used a late pit stop, a little bit of luck and his front bumper to get his No. 14 machine into victory lane.

The win snapped an 84-race winless drought and it most likely opened the door for Stewart to make the NASCAR Chase, something that he hasn’t done since 2012. The win also showcased hypocrisy at its finest in NASCAR.

Following the race Stewart was more than willing to discuss putting Hamlin into the wall on the final turn in order to secure the win.

While it’s great that Stewart got the win and was as honest about his actions as he was, the overall acceptance of what he did on the track is a complete joke. Had this same situation happened with Kyle Busch, Joey Logano or Brad Keselowski, NASCAR fans would be in an uproar this week about how dirty they are and how horrible of a finish it was.

Stewart is being praised for doing what he had to do to win while others (Logano vs. Kenseth) have been crucified for doing far less to get the same result.

When it comes to racing for a win you cannot have it every single way. Stewart moving Hamlin in Sonoma and Carl Edwards moving Kyle Busch in Richmond cannot be cheered while Kyle Larson not moving Matt Kenseth (Dover) is cheered and Joey Logano moving Kenseth last season is booed.

I understand that fans of certain drivers will always cheer for them and those who dislike certain drivers will always dislike them. That’s fine but it’s doesn’t make an excuse (or at least not a good one) when it comes to trying to explain why it’s okay for certain drivers to act aggressive and others not too.

To be honest, I have zero issue with that Stewart did on Sunday. Then again, I also didn’t have an issue with Edwards in Richmond, Logano in Kansas, Jeff Gordon in Bristol against Rusty Wallace or the majority of the other similar instances in NASCAR history. Winning in NASCAR is hard and it’s something that isn’t in the cards for every driver every week. Two cars battling it out in the closing laps and making contact is fine across the board in my mind.

must read: Five Things Sonoma Taught Us All

Unfortunately it seems as though I have made it far too simple in my mind as the majority of NASCAR fans seems to have special circumstances setup as to when it’s okay for a driver to run someone into the wall for a win and when it’s not okay for that to happen. So I suppose that means we will continue to celebrate Stewart until this weekend in Daytona (or later in the season) when someone else makes a similar move and the NASCAR universe condemns them for it.