Blocking has come to front as a NASCAR issue once again as the community looks back to last week’s confrontation between Tony Stewart and Joey Logano after Stewart blamed the younger driver from keeping him from the lead. The older veteran nicknamed Smoke charged over to Logano’s car to give him a piece of his mind and a fist to the face.
In the post race interview Stewart swore up a storm, calling Logano a spoiled brat who had never had to work for anything in his life. Evidently in Stewart’s opinion, Logano pulled the ultimate racing foul by blocking him on the restart instead of just letting him through.
Now Stewart has had a rough season but there was no reason to react the way he did. Especially given the hypocritical nature of his commentary. Stewart himself has, on many occasions, pulled a block to maintain his position in the front of the pack. This has cost many drivers more than just position as it has kick-started a wreck or two.
When you get right down to it, blocking is just another reality of NASCAR and racing that must be accepted or even suffered through. Just like rubbing, blocking is an aspect of hard, competitive racing that must be realized as such and treated as such. Actions like Stewart’s certainly were not justified considering his own history.
Many drivers have made their opinions known on the subject over the last week. The majority have accepted it as a fact or racing as long as a driver still has track to run on. There are others, though, for example Ryan Newman (another driver of Stewart-Haas Racing), who derided the practice, even calling it a chicken way to drive. Right or wrong, blocking is a fact of hard competitive racing.