Tony Stewart was left with a DNF after late-race contact with Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Richmond International Raceway.
It looked like Tony Stewart would build off his sixth place run at Bristol and have another solid run at RIR, that is until contact on lap 361 sent him spinning out of the race.
Racing on the inside of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Stewart made contact with the left rear of the No. 88, sending his car sideways down the front-stretch. The Chevrolet drivers were fighting for 13th place. Despite narrowly avoiding an impact with the inside wall, he exited the race, unable to get the No. 14 back under power. Earnhardt went on to finish 12th while Stewart was relegated to 41st.
'Smoke' was furious on the radio, cussing and not taking responsbility for the contact. He declined request for interviews from reporters at the track, moments before he allegedly threw his helmet into the Stewart-Haas Racing hauler, out of frustration.
After the race, Dale Jr. maintained his innocence. "I don’t know. You’ll have to ask him. He hit me in the left rear quarter panel. I was trying to clear the No. 51 (Justin Allgaier) on the outside of me, so I was as high as I could go. So, you’ll just have to ask him.”
Speaking with USA Today, he essentially stated that Stewart needs to start taking more 'ownership' for incidents he is involved in. "Well, it's never his fault," said Earnhardt.
Just last week at Bristol, another Hendrick Motorsports driver had some harsh words for the three-time champion. Kasey Kahne, after wrecking out of the race when the two made contact, candidly told TV "He's running better than he usually does so maybe he's just excited." Stewart later placed blame on himself for that accident.