Newman: Blocking a “chicken way of driving”

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Heading into this weekend’s STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville Speedway, defending race winner Ryan Newman has spoken out against blocking.

The Stewart Haas Racing driver’s teammate and team boss, Tony Stewart, called Joey Logano out for it after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ most recent race at Auto Club Speedway two weeks ago.

“If you’ve got a run on me, take it,” Newman said Tuesday in a conference call. “If I can get through the corner better than you, then we’ll race, but blocking is an IndyCar form or F1 form or an open wheel type move it seems like. It’s not to say they don’t do it in NASCAR; obviously they do, but to me it’s just a chicken way of driving and not very respectful for the guys around you.”

Newman was involved in one of the worst accidents in NASCAR in recent memory, Talladega in April 2009, when a block happened in front of him. While racing for the win, Brad Keselowski moved down on Carl Edwards, which catapulted Edwards airborne, into the catch fencing and also contacting Newman’s car in the hood.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., by contrast, said blocking is more a matter of timing, and he’d expect it at certain points in a race.

“I would expect and accept to be blocked in certain situations,” he said. “But you’ve got to give me some race track.”