|Stewart warns he'll wreck blockers all year|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 26 June 2011 14:35|
But he's not sorry for starting the tit-for-tat incidents that began when Stewart intentionally spun Vickers earlier in the race.
``I probably had it coming because I dumped him earlier, but I dumped him because he was blocking,'' Stewart said. ``If anybody wants to block all year, that's what I'm going to keep doing, so they can handle it however they want.''
That's a standard refrain from Stewart, who has grown increasingly frustrated with a lack of on-track etiquette. He complained after last week's race at Michigan that drivers were ``a bunch of idiots'' on restarts.
``I've been complaining about the way guys have been racing all year,'' Stewart said. ``I like Brian, I'm not holding it against him at all. I don't care if it was (teammate) Ryan Newman, I would have dumped him too. If they want to block that's what is going to happen to them every time for the rest of my career.''
Vickers denied blocking Stewart, and certainly didn't think he had done anything to warrant Stewart starting the seven-car accident.
``I wasn't blocking him. That may have been his perception from where he was sitting,'' Vickers said. ``It's pretty early in the race to worry about blocking someone, or wrecking someone.''
Vickers said he had to move when Kyle Busch went off course and tried to come back onto the track, and Vickers was limited because of slower cars in front of him.
``I think when he sees the replay and he realizes why I went low - if he looks at it out of my front windshield - he'll realize it had nothing to do with him,'' Vickers said. ``It had to do with (Busch) almost wrecking me, and a couple of other guys running slow up top.
``It's unfortunate. He made his bed at that moment, and he had to sleep in it.''
Vickers did, however, think the issue was over.
``The way I see it, we're all good. We're all square,'' Vickers said. ``He wrecked me, and I dealt with it.''
DALE DOESN'T FINISH: Dale Earnhardt Jr. is no fan of Infineon Raceway, and that didn't change Sunday after an early wreck ultimately ended his race.
Earnhardt was collateral damage in a seven-car accident triggered when Tony Stewart moved Brian Vickers out of his way at the entrance to Turn 11. The damage included a hole in Earnhardt's radiator, and his engine eventually blew, leading to just his second DNF since 2009.
``I'm not a big fan of the place, but maybe one of these days,'' Earnhardt said, noting the physical nature ``is just the way the road courses are. That's the way the race has been here for a while, and you know what you sign up for when you show up on Friday.''
Next up is Daytona, where Earnhardt could snap his three-year losing streak. But he surprisingly wasn't looking forward to that race because of the changes in the drafting style. Long a fan of pack racing, Earnhardt doesn't enjoy the two-car tandems - even though he pushed teammate Jimmie Johnson to a victory at Talladega in April.
``I'm not looking forward to going to Daytona, not with the way the drafting is there,'' he said. ``But we'll just have to see if we can get lucky out there. What's after Daytona? I'll be glad to go there.''
MAD MAX: Max Papis is still steaming over a late-race move by Jacques Villeneuve that took away Papis' chance to win the Nationwide Series race on Saturday at Road America.
Papis traveled to Sonoma after his 23rd-place finish to help coach Joey Logano during the Sprint Cup race. After, he admitted to still being annoyed with Villeneuve, a former Formula One world champion whom Papis has known for more than 20 years.
``You need to come into the sport with more humbleness,'' Papis said. ``For me, what he showed was zero respect toward my five years of trying to make it happen. That's what people think, they can come into NASCAR and kick everyone's (butt), and that's not the case. To me, it was a big disappointment because of that attitude.''
Papis was, however, extremely proud of Logano's sixth-place finish. He's been working with Logano over the past month, and tested with him two weeks ago at Road Atlanta. On Sunday, he was on the team radio helping guide Logano.
``I told him he knows what he has to do. My job was just to give him extra motivation, guiding him, making sure that he was not greedy,'' Papis said. ``I told him when I went testing, 'You have the ability to do it, you need to know when to use all your stuff or not.' I think what I've been able to coach him and guide him is more up in the brain and just making sure that he really believes in himself.
``I was really proud to see that he never give up.''
Papis would take no credit for Logano's career-best run, but Logano gave it to him.
``Max is the man,'' Logano said. ``Everything he does, he just makes total sense. He's just done this for so long he knows exactly what to do out there. Him being another driver you can really relate to what he is saying. I thought it was great.''
TRUEX TURNAROUND: Martin Truex Jr. thought he was experiencing deja vu when he was spun in Turn 11 for the second consecutive year. But he bounced back to finish eighth - his second top-10 finish in the last three races.
``We had a great car. It was fast. Just got spun out once,'' Truex said. ``Still a good day for us. We had a fast car. Everything held up.''
Truex actually worked his way into the top four and thought he had a shot at beating Busch. But he ran down his tires at the end, and dropped four spots over the final few laps.
``We thought for a while there we were going to have a shot for the win, I just ran the tires off it,'' he said. ``I wanted to win. I thought we had something for Kurt.''