Stewart to Newman: "Don’t put yourself in a bad spot with me"
Tony Stewart said he respects every driver in the Sprint Cup Series, including Ryan Newman, but said Newman “pressed the issue” in his late-race run-in between the two veterans.
Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 returned to green on Lap 360 of 400 when two laps later, Stewart and Newman – who needed a win to make the Chase – were engaged in a tight battle for 10th place.
The pair first made contact in Turn 1 and bumping and banging continued on the backstretch. Stewart came down on Newman and as the former teammates wrecked along the inside wall the drivers collected Chris Buescher in the process.
The race required a 20-minute red flag to clear the track of debris. Newman tore into Stewart in his post-wreck interviews, going as far as to call him "bipolar" and that "he has issues."
“I respect all these guys. I respect Ryan. I know it wasn’t a good night for him,” Stewart said after the race. “He had 26 races to get in the Chase. The fact is he had to press the issue tonight and put himself into a couple of bad spots.
“There’s 39 other guys you can put yourself into a bad spot with. Don’t put yourself in a bad spot with me. Don’t start shoving me around the race track. I’m not going to put up with it. He put himself in that position.
“He can blame me all he wants but he’s got two pedals and a steering wheel in there.”
Give and take
Stewart said he expected Newman to be frustrated.
“It’s an important race. He was in a pressure situation coming into here and I had nothing to do with the first 25 races to put him in a pressure situation. You expect to get run into once or twice but the third time’s the charm and that’s when I had enough of it,” he said.
“I wrecked myself doing it. So it wasn’t like I didn’t wreck myself doing it. I’m not really sure that I’m going to lose a lot of sleep over his opinion.”
NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup grid set
Hamlin wins rough and wild Richmond race
About this article
|Location||Richmond International Raceway|
|Drivers||Tony Stewart , Ryan Newman|