Joey Logano and Tony Stewart are both very familiar with feuds on the racetrack, but according to Logano, the one they had with each other is over.
The veteran Stewart and the 22-year-old Logano got into a brief physical altercation two weeks ago at the Auto Club Speedway after Stewart reacted to being blocked by the young driver on the race’s final restart. Stewart also threw some incendiary comments Logano’s way, including the threat “I’m going to bust his a–“, and even though the two haven’t spoken since, Logano says the incident is water under the bridge.
“We have not talked to each other, but we had an off weekend and time to relax a little bit and cool off, so I feel like that’s over,” Logano said, according to ESPN.com. “I feel like we’re moving on. I feel we’re both out there trying to improve on what we’ve got already.”
Although Stewart wouldn’t talk about the feud or Logano, he said it’s in the past.
“That was two weeks ago. I’m on Martinsville this weekend,” Stewart said. “We’re trying to figure out what we’ve got to do to make our race cars go fast this week.”
This week’s version of Stewart is certainly a more cool and collected one compared to what racing fans saw two weeks ago, as Stewart went on a tirade immediately following the race about Logano, but also about the act of blocking in general.
“I don’t like blocking. I never have. I never will,” said Stewart. “It’s our jobs as drivers to go out there and try to pass people. That’s what racing is about. We didn’t have blocking 10 years ago. I don’t know where all of a sudden it became a common deal and some people think it’s all right to do now and think it’s just common practice. I don’t believe it should be common practice.”
The problem for Stewart is that NASCAR doesn’t have a rule against blocking and isn’t planning on implementing one anytime soon. And with drivers, like Logano, unapologetically incorporating blocking into their racing style, it likely won’t go away.
“Every driver is going to have their own opinion,” Logano said. “Late in the race, you’re going to see that a lot. You’re going to see it here. A lot of people are going to do it, and as a driver you have to be ready for that.”
Although many drivers are split on the issue of blocking, some big-name veterans, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon sided with Logano.
“To me blocking has always been wide-open and accepted,” Gordon said.
Despite contributing to a nasty wreck that injured Denny Hamlin at ACS, Logano said he wouldn’t change his aggressive driving style and he would expect Stewart to do the same.
“I’m not going to change the way I drive,” Logano said. “I don’t feel like I do anything that’s really disrespectful to other drivers out there. I race really hard. I’m fine with being known as a hard racer.”
Though both sides seem to have moved on, there’s no question they’ll remember what happened at ACS. We’ll just have to wait and see if it affects them this week at Martinsville.