After last weekend’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 race at Infineon Raceway, NASCAR may want to start their future races with “Gentlemen, start your demolition derby!”
Tempers flared on the track after Tony Stewart pushed Brian Vickers’ Toyota into a tire barrier area on Lap 37, causing a 7-car wreck. Vickers, in premeditated fashion, returned the favor in Lap 88, slamming Stewart’s Chevy into the same area. The move destroyed the rear end of Stewart’s vehicle and knocked him out of the race.
It’s one thing sending a stern message with a tap on occasion but this was a premeditated retaliation. Vickers clearly waited for Stewart to pass him before getting revenge for the earlier wreck.
“I probably had it coming because I dumped him earlier, but I dumped him because he was blocking,” Stewart said. “If anybody wants to block all year, that’s what I’m going to keep doing, so they can handle it however they want.”
Stewart has been outspoken regarding some of the driver’s lack of etiquette and has referred to his fellow competitors as “a bunch of idiots”.
Unless Stewart’s statements were out of frustration, fans should expect the driver to race demolition derby style for the remaining of the season and maybe his career.
“I’ve been complaining about the way guys have been racing all year. If they want to block that’s what is going to happen to them every time for the rest of my career.”
“I wasn’t blocking him,” Vickers said after the race. “The way I see it, we’re all good. We’re all square.”
I wouldn’t be so sure.
BTW, Kurt Busch won the race, his first of the season and 23rd of his NASCAR Sprint Cup career.
Used with permission of the author.
Jay Donetelli is a Tampa-based freelance sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax. With an opinion sharper than an Ovechkin skate blade with the sting of an Ali jab, Donetelli has a loyal cult of readers who have found a way to love him.
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