Stewart won’t be fined for throwing helmet
NASCAR will not penalize Tony Stewart for throwing his helmet at Matt Kenseth’s car during the race Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Monday afternoon.
The sanctioning body, which has been more lenient on driver behavior the past several years, did not penalize Camping World Truck Series driver Todd Bodine for throwing his helmet at another competitor’s vehicle earlier this month at Pocono. NASCAR did confiscate Stewart’s helmet.
“I don’t give a crap,” Stewart said after the helmet throw. “The hell with the helmet.”
Stewart couldn’t afford a points penalty. He is 10th in the Sprint Cup standings and 16 points from falling to 11th with two races before the Chase for the Sprint Cup field is set. He would still make the Chase as a wild card, but only drivers in the top 10 get three bonus points for each regular-season win when points are reset for the Chase.
Stewart threw the helmet because he was angry that Kenseth slid into him while they were battling for the lead on Lap 332 of the 500-lap Irwin Tools Night Race.
“I’m going to run over him every chance I’ve got from now until the end of the year—every chance I’ve got,” Stewart said.
Both drivers—both past Cup champions—believe the other should have lifted in that situation. Kenseth said Stewart pulled the same move on him and Kenseth lifted to avoid an accident, so he figured Stewart should have lifted, too.
Kenseth also said Stewart wrecked him twice this year and his plan was to race him the same way.
“I got a run back, drove all the way alongside of him and just kept going,” Kenseth said. “I lifted down there or else we would have wrecked and he chose not to lift and wrecked us both.”
The helmet Stewart threw bounced off the hood of Kenseth’s car.
“I was expecting it,” Kenseth said. “We’ve seen that for a while. It didn’t really bother me. It wasn’t going to hurt me any worse.” Sporting News