(WOMR file photo)
For those who watched the Auto Club 400 race from Fontana, CA Sunday, you undoubtedly will say that the ending of the race was filled with drama! Unlike many of the previously held NASCAR races held at that venue. Being a season ticket holder for the first 10 years of that track’s existence, I can truly say that most of the races held at Auto Club Speedway were BORING!
Not Sundays’ Auto Club 400, not by an stretch of the imagination!
From this viewer’s standpoint, the race continued to play out a very cool drama with the various storylines.
The last eleven laps kept me on the edge of my seat, watching the racing battle between Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, and the late charge of Denny Hamlin.
For those of us knowledgeable, die hard, race fans, you had to know that, the “Bro Affair” that is going on between Logano and Hamlin could possibly have an affect on the outcome of the the Auto Club 400. It became intuitively obvious that neither driver was going to give an inch going into the last lap of the race. After all, they were fighting for their first win of the 2013 season!
Boys have at it!
We, the race fans, were not let down! Both, Hamlin and Logano, drove very hard into turn 3 on the last lap. Everyon in the stands, and those watching on TV, knew that only one car would come out on the front straight, to survive the intensity of this event. It was true that only one driver emerged from turn four leading the race, however, it was neither Logano, nor Hamlin. Kyle Busch slipped through the impending crash to steal the victory!
Nevertheless, the outcome of that race is not the focus of this article! Notwithstanding the drama of the race finish, I wish to comment on “Mr. Three-Time”, Tony Stewart’s actions after the race!
After the race it seems that “Smoke”, Tony Stewart, had a chapped buttocks from a move that Joey Logano put upon “Mr. Three-Time” on the final restart of the race. Logano was leading the field to the green flag from the inside of the front row, when Stewart dove down to the yellow line to try to slip past the leader, on the bottom edge of the track. Logano did what any leader of the race that was worth his salt would do, and what “Mr. Three-Time” has done on several occasions, put a block on the driver trying to sneak by on the inside of the track! (Examples are a couple of paragraphs further in my text)
At the conclusion of the race, “Smoke” jumps out of his race car, proceeds to go over to Logano, and sling a few punches at Logano. Tony said that Logano ran him down to the grass, and ruined his chances at winning the Auto Club 400! Logano’s response to this accusation of blocking Tony was, “I was just trying to protect my lead.”
In addition to his punch throwing ordeal with Logano, “Mr. Three-Time” had some very colorful words for the aforementioned driver. In his profanity laced interview with the pit reporter, who had caught up with “Smoke” after the race, it was anger and drama filled!
The interview follows, profanity removed:
“He’s going to learn a lesson,” Stewart said. “He’s run his mouth long enough. He’s nothing but a little rich kid who’s never had to work in his life, so he’s going to learn what us working guys who had to work our way up and how it works. He has the choice to do that. He’s in control of his car. But if he ever turns down across in front of me again — I don’t care what lap it is — he won’t make it through the other end of it, and I’m tired of these guys doing that stuff, especially out of a kid that’s been griping about everybody else — and then he does that the next week and send Denny to the hospital and screw our day up. He’s talked the talk, but he hasn’t walked the walk yet. He’s always got his crew guys walking the walk for him.”
In reviewing the last eleven laps of the race at Fontana, did Tony conveniently forget what happened at the conclusion of the October Talladega race, last year? If I remember correctly, he (Tony Stewart) prevented Michael Waltrip and Casey Mears from blowing by him in turn 3 at Talladega on the very last lap, and winning the race, by a timely thrown block on Stewart’s part. If I remember correctly I saw, from my seat at Talladega, about twenty (20) wrecked cars strewn everywhere and cluttering up the race track!
He, Tony Stewart, did say that he was just trying to protect his lead, and decided to cut down on, and in front of, the two car tandem of a much faster Waltrip and Mears, to block their progress. I believe that is almost a verbatim quote that came out of Joey Logano’s mouth Sunday after the Auto Club 400! Smoke did apologize for his single-handed venture at wrecking 20 good race cars that Sunday afternoon in Talladega. I guess that makes what he (Mr. Three-Time/Tony Stewart) did ok at Talladega. After all it was the three time champion, Tony Stewart, speaking!
From my seat at Talladega last October, I did not see Michael Waltrip, Casey Mears, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson, or any of the other 16 drivers who were taken completely out of contention, running over to Smoke’s car wanting to punch his lights out for his attempt at blocking the rest of the field, and destroying 20 perfectly good race cars of the remaining 27 car field!
I am sure that Tony Stewart also conveniently forgot another Talladega race, just a few short years previous to the aforementioned catastrophic wreck filled race in October. That race involved one and the same Tony Stewart and Regan Smith. In that race, Stewart ran Smith down below the double yellow line coming out of turn four, and once again in the tri-oval, all the while, both drivers were racing to the checkered flag for the race win. In that race Smith beat him, Stewart, to the checkered flag. However, since Smith was forced below the double yellow line, and failed to get out of the gas, and remember they were racing for the win, Smith was penalized severely. The win was awarded to Smoke.
Again, did I see Regan Smith rush over to Stewart’s car, and want to open up the “ol can of whoop ass” on him for his successful blocking maneuver! The answer was, no he did not!
Additionally, If I remember correctly, and this is like rubbing salt into an open wound, Smith’s reward for racing Stewart hard to the checkered flag was a finishing position at the tail end of the lead lap cars!
Is there a double standard here??? I am just saying……………………..
What are your thoughts?
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!