Stewart doesn’t plan to let blocking slide
No one has ever questioned how committed or stubborn Tony Stewart can be once he makes up his mind.
Just get the two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion started on the practice of competitors blocking on the racetrack.
Last week when Brian Vickers blocked his No. 14 Chevrolet at Sonoma, Stewart punted him out of the way. Vickers waited for his moment, returned the favor and knocked Stewart out of the race.
Stewart touched based with Vickers on Thursday during a NASCAR drivers meeting. Stewart said the two laughed and discussed the situation, but Vickers insists he “wasn’t blocking."
“I just explained to him that of all people I didn’t want it to be you, either,” Stewart said. “I told him that I had drawn a line in the sand with the guys that were doing it. It’s kind of like (a) we didn’t even agree-to-disagree situation because he explained his side, and I understood his side and he understood my side.
“I’ve talked to other drivers, too, and I didn’t anticipate to get the kind of support that I’m getting with some of these guys. It’s not the whole field saying that, by any means — I haven’t talked to everybody. I did talk to two or three different guys yesterday, and the two or three guys that I spoke to mentioned and agreed that it’s a problem that’s getting worse, not better.
“Honestly, whether they agree or disagree, I don’t care. I’ve drawn my line in the sand, and the next guy that blocks me, he is going to also suffer the same fate. It doesn’t matter who it is. That’s what it’s going to be.”
Stewart’s 39th-place finish resulted in his dropping to 12th in the points standings. He has not won since his victory at Auto Club Speedway 22 races ago and has just one top-five finish this season, a second in Las Vegas.
But the consequences Sunday did not seem to matter to Stewart.
“No, I’ll make sure when I do it next time that the guy doesn’t have the opportunity to come back and wreck me,” Stewart said. “I’m going to stay the course on it. I’m just to the point where I’m fed up with some of the ways some of these guys are racing each other.
“If we miss the Chase (for the Sprint Cup) because of it, then so be it, and that’s not what the team is going to want to hear. That’s not what our sponsors are going to want to hear, but so be it. It is what it is; and there’s 42 guys out there, and they know how I race, and they know what I expect. And I don’t race them that way, and I don’t block guys, and I’m not going to block guys. If they block me, then they will suffer the consequences of it.”