Tony Stewart took time to meet with the media Friday at Martinsville Speedway to dismiss “hypocrite” claims after he was blocked at the end of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway two weeks ago.
“I don’t like blocking. I never have, never will,” Stewart said. “It’s our job as drivers to go out there and try to pass people. That’s what racing is about. We didn’t have blocking 10 years ago. I don’t know where all the sudden it became a common deal and some people think it’s alright to do now and is just common practice. I don’t believe in it and don’t believe it should be common practice.”
Stewart explained the different dynamic between blocking at a place like Auto Club in Fontana, a 2.0-mile oval, versus the restrictor plate tracks of Daytona and Talladega. Contact between he and Michael Waltrip at the end of last fall’s Talladega race triggered a multiple car pileup.
“I don’t like it at Daytona and Talladega, either – but it’s the position we’re put in there,” he said. “What happened at California is a different deal. The people that are trying to compare the two, honestly, I’ve read (which reporters) wrote it and it’s disappointing they don’t understand the sport any better than that. There is a huge difference between the two.”
Stewart also said he and Logano haven’t spoken by phone, nor would it matter to Stewart, because disagreements can’t necessarily be settled by such conversations.
Ryan Newman, Stewart’s teammate, made a few waves earlier in the week when he called blocking a “chicken way of driving.”