Stewart Furious with Logano

NASCAR

Tony Stewart had a major problem with Joey Logano's move in Sunday's final restart that resulted in punches being thrown after the Auto Club 400. (Photo: Getty Images)

Audio: MRN Interview with Stewart

FONTANA, Calif. - While temperatures climbed all afternoon both on the race surface and inside the engines compartment, nothing matched what boiled over post-race at the Auto Club 400 between Joey Logano and Tony Stewart.

The disagreement initially began after the final restart of the day when Logano blocked Stewart down to the bottom of the racetrack going into Turn 1. It then elevated after Logano and then leader Denny Hamlin crashed in Turn 4 coming to the checkered flag, sending Hamlin hard into the inside wall. He was later airlifted to a local hospital for evaluation.

On the post-race cool down, Logano brought his car down pit lane and was bumped by Stewarts machine, before both cars finally stopped on pit road. Stewart climbed from his car to confront Logano and after the two shoved each other, Stewart threw a punch. Logano responded by throwing his water bottle at his assailant. The two had to be separated by crew members and officials. Stewart said he took exception to the way Logano raced the final laps.

"Well, Joey (Logano) spun the tires on the restart," Stewart said. "Everybody had trouble with that so, but it’s not my fault that he spun the tires. For a guy that has been complaining about how everybody else is driving here and then (for) him to do that it’s a double standard. He makes the choice. He makes the decision to run us down there and when you run a driver down there then you take responsibility for what happens after that.

"He is a tough guy on pit road as soon as one of his crew guys gets in the middle of it. Until then he’s a scared little kid. Then he wants to sit there and throw a water bottle at me. He is going to learn a lesson. He can run his mouth on Twitter and stuff all he wants tonight. I’ve got plenty of people that are going to watch for that. It’s time he learns a lesson. He’s run his mouth long enough. He has sat there and done this double standard and he’s nothing but a little rich kid that has never had to work in his life. He’s going to learn with us working guys that had to work our way up how it works.”

Logano shared his side of the story, saying he was just doing what he needed to do to try to win the race.

"Tony (Stewart) was just upset about the restart that I was racing him really hard on the bottom trying to make sure I protected my spot," Logano said. "What I was actually doing was I was racing the 18 on the restart and he was spinning his tires. the rule is you can't beat him to the start finish line so I am pedaling it which gave Tony the run underneath me. I wanted to block that because i knew if he put me three-wide that would be the end of my race and I wouldn't win. I was smart enough to realize that. Then I had to just do what I had to do to get to the front and try to win the race."

But Stewart wasn't buying that explanation.

“He still takes the responsibility on himself. He has that right. 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. If I didn’t hit the chip, he wouldn’t have made it through Turn 1 to begin with. 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. I mean he’s sent Denny (Hamlin) to the hospital and screwed 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."

Asked if he would accept a call from Logano this week, Stewart was quite clear. "Hell no. If he wants to talk about it, we’ll talk about it. After he threw the water bottle at me like a little girl, we’ll go at it now.”

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