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DATE News (chronologically)
05/08/12
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Stewart won't be penalized for Talladega post race comments
Tony Stewart rips NASCAR
Sarcasm, when used correctly, can be a clever tool for making a point. It also can be harmful when overused. #14-Tony Stewart's news conference following Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway was full of both. It bordered from brilliant to a violation of Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR rulebook, which covers everything "detrimental to the sport."

In one of the most bizarre postrace transcripts you'll ever read, the three-time Cup champion made a mockery of one of the sport's biggest races. He did it in such a sarcastic way that you may want to read twice just to catch the surgeon-like precision in which he ripped the race and governing body apart. The note accompanying the transcript says the interview was "tongue-and-cheek." (see video)

According to several reporters there, Stewart never let on that he was joking and some left confused by what they heard. But Stewart's point was well made: NASCAR needs to change a few things before the sport returns to the 2.66-mile track for the Chase. To Stewart's point, as great as #2-Brad Keselowski's move to escape #18-Kyle Busch on the final lap of the green-white-checkered finish was for the win, several issues must be addressed. The overheating that ended the day early for #48-Jimmie Johnson and Stewart teammate #39-Ryan Newman with blown engines has to be fixed even if it means the return of tandem racing. So does the issues that caused cars to run out of fuel early. Catastrophe can't be avoided when that happens while running three-wide in packs at 200 mph. ESPN

According to Jenna Fryer of the Associate Press, no penalty will be given to Stewart. NASCAR said, "In NASCAR's opinion, these comments were made by a driver who clearly was not pleased with how his day finished. They were not disparaging given the context in which he delivered them nor were they a direct shot at the sport."

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