|Montoya, Newman rough it up at Richmond|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 30 April 2011 18:03|
At least that's how it looked Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway, where Newman had a strong car early and nudged the pole-sitting Montoya into the wall 108 laps into the race.
Montoya retaliated 130 laps later by spinning Newman into the wall in turn 3.
Newman later made contact with Kurt Busch while trying to get his car turned around, but his anger on his radio was directed toward Montoya, with whom he has something of a history.
Just two weeks ago at Talladega, they made contact with 17 laps to go.
They also had a dustup at Homestead in Miami in 2006.
``I can't believe they're not going to black flag that 42 car,'' Newman fumed on his radio after crashing, adding later that he was intending to ``take care of it after the race.''
NASCAR did warn Montoya to stay away from Newman following the second contact.
After the race, Montoya pulled his car to his hauler, jumped out and was walking toward the exit when Newman pulled in and swerved at him. Montoya then got in a golf cart and sped out of the track, while Newman marched to the NASCAR hauler and waited for officials to arrive.
He emerged after about a half hour.
``Just really disappointed in the way everything played out,'' he said while walking back to his hauler. ``I was obviously crashed, unintentionally the first time and intentionally the second time. ... He crashed himself basically. I don't know if he didn't know he wasn't clear or what, if he thought it was me on purpose, but the message was delivered that it wasn't intentional. Either way, he ruined our day at that point, and then he finished our day off.''
Newman said he doesn't think talking to Montoya would be a good idea right away.
``I'd say right now probably wouldn't be a good time for either of us to talk,'' he said.
WHEELING FOR WINS: Jeff Gordon thinks driver talent has been minimized at race tracks like Darlington, where the performance of the car is the most important factor on a fast track.
That makes Richmond a welcome place to come racing, he said.
``To me it's nice to come here to Richmond and know that you can play a big role in the speed of your car,'' the four-time series champion said on Friday. ``It still is a short track.''
Gordon might not have had the same affinity for the 0.75-mile oval after getting spun out by Matt Kenseth with about 100 laps to go. He made hard contact with the inside wall and was done.
``I find the worst frickin places to hit the damn wall,'' Gordon said on his radio.
Gordon, who ran in the top 10 much off the night, climbed from his car on the backstretch, waved to fans and walked off, finished for the night. He wound up finishing 39th.
``I just know that someone got into my left rear and around I went,'' Gordon said.
NASCAR UNITES TO HELP THOSE LESS FORTUNATE: NASCAR President Mike Helton said it's fitting that a new initiative by the NASCAR Foundation to promote people from around the sport helping others was unveiled this week when deadly tornadoes killed hundreds across the Southeast.
Through 'NASCAR Unites,'' the foundation plans to encourage fans, drivers, teams, tracks, sponsors and others to work to improve the lives of children through fundraising, volunteering, sharing inspirational stories and working to make a difference for people in need.
Tornadoes and storms ripped through the south, leaving 341 dead in seven states - including 249 in Alabama. Thousands more were hurt, and hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed.
NASCAR will use three programs: NASCAR Day on May 20, a focus on getting people to donate 1 million volunteer hours during the summer and the awarding of the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award to an active community volunteer with an inspirational story to promote awareness.
NASCAR Day is the day on which activities are held at several tracks as the sport encourages fans and others to make donations and raise money that can be used for worthwhile causes.
The humanitarian award winner, to be announced during championship week in Las Vegas, will get $100,000 to give to their favorite charity, and a new car to keep from Ford, Helton said.
``We're also privileged to hear a lot of good stories that are told that a lot of people don't ever get to hear,'' Helton said, calling volunteering ``what we should be doing.''
The foundation also will give $1 million to children's charities in 2011.
TWEETER: Clint Bowyer hosted a one-hour Twitter party, and isn't sure why.
``What a joke!'' Bowyer said of the session in which he was supposed to answer followers' questions. ``Oh, my. I was involved in a Twitter party. Did I host the Twitter party? I attended a Twitter party. I don't know why we just didn't get on the phone and talk to each other.''
The session was apparently arranged by Bowyer's PR representative.
``I'm still upset that he made me even participate in such a goofy thing,'' Bowyer said.
HOME COOKING: Denny Hamlin went into Saturday night's race 2 for 2 on the weekend, having won his charity race on Thursday night and the Nationwide Series event on Friday night.
The race he really needed to win, though, was the main event.
``We need this weekend to get back on track and I think this is the perfect time to do it,'' Hamlin said. He grew up in Chesterfield, about 15 miles from the track in suburban Richmond.
Hamlin finished second in the points race to Jimmie Johnson last season, but entered the race in 17th place, and with just one top 10 finish, a seventh place run at Las Vegas.
MANUFACTURER MEETING: NASCAR will meet with officials from all four of its participating manufacturers next week in Detroit for an informal discussion on the state of the sport.
NASCAR President Mike Helton likened the meeting with representatives from Dodge, Ford, General Motors and Toyota to the many town hall sessions industry leaders have had with teams and drivers over the last few years.
``The idea was for us to be better communicators with the stakeholders - the broadcast partners, the tracks, the teams, the drivers,'' Helton said. ``Obviously, the manufacturers are stakeholders and now we're kind of catching up to tell them the same information we're telling all the other stakeholders.''
AP Motorsports Writer Jenna Fryer contributed to this report