Stewart vows to keep wrecking drivers who block
Tony Stewart vowed Friday to wreck any driver who blocks him on
the track, even if that policing costs him a spot in NASCAR’s
Stewart intentionally spun Brian Vickers last week at Sonoma
because he felt Vickers was blocking him during the race. Vickers
retaliated later by wrecking Stewart, who had a car capable of
contending for the win but wound up 39th.
It dropped him to 12th in the Chase for the Sprint Cup
”I am drawing a line in the sand and the next guy that blocks
me, he is going to also suffer the same fate,” Stewart said at
Daytona International Speedway.
He also upped the ante, stating in a calm manner that he’d wreck
the next driver enough to ensure he won’t be able to come back and
retaliate against Stewart.
”It doesn’t matter who it is,” he said. ”I’ll make sure that
when I do it the next time that the guy doesn’t have the
opportunity to come back and wreck me.”
His stance seems to be excessive, especially since Stewart is on
the bubble of making the Chase with only 10 races left to qualify
for the 12-driver field. Under new qualifying rules, only the top
10 drivers are guaranteed a Chase berth.
The other two spots will go to drivers ranked between 11th and
20th who have the most wins. Stewart is winless this season.
But racing smart to guarantee a Chase berth isn’t on his
”I’m going to stay the course on it,” Stewart said. ”I’m just
to the point where I’m fed up with some of the way some of these
guys are racing each other. If we miss the Chase because of it, so
be it. 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. There’s 42 guys out there, and they know how
I race, they know what I expect. And I don’t race them that way, I
don’t block guys and I’m not going to block guys. But if they block
me, they will suffer the consequences.”
Stewart is often vocal about on-track etiquette and an unspoken
code of conduct, which he said he learned early in his NASCAR
career from veterans who made it clear how things worked in this
But the new ”Boys, have at it,” policy, and a hunger for drama
and rivalries has made it impossible to teach young drivers the
”When I came in here, I thought I was going to change how
things worked, too, and Dale (Earnhardt) Sr. taught me how to do
it, Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace, my teammate Bobby Labonte taught
me, had to grab me and shake me beside a trailer one day and say,
‘Listen, you’ve got to understand,”’ Stewart said.
”Nothing like that happens in this day and age. It’s so
glamorized when two people do something on the race track, it’s
made to be such a soap opera, the whole point why it happened in
the first place isn’t getting resolved.”
Stewart and Vickers have talked since Sunday, and disagree on
the root of the issue. Vickers denies he was blocking, but Stewart
insists he was. They are in agreement that Vickers had every right
”I told him, of all people, I didn’t want it to be you,”
Stewart said. ”But I told him I had drawn a line in the sand with
the guys that were doing it.”