MARTINSVILLE, Va.—Denny Hamlin’s wreck, the result of hard racing from Joey Logano as both drivers battled for the win at Fontana, wasn’t the only nastiness that occurred at the two-mile track.
On the final restart, Logano blocked Tony Stewart and broke his momentum, costing Stewart a chance to win the race. After the race, an angry Stewart confronted Logano on pit road, as crew members struggled to restrain the drivers.
Asked for his take on the incident Friday at Martinsville, five-time champion Jimmie Johnson said blocking has always been a part of Cup racing and probably always will be. But, Johnson added, it’s important to be aware of whom you’re blocking.
“Blocking is part of what we do, and sometimes it works in your favor, and other times it doesn’t,” Johnson said Friday before Cup practice. “Sometimes a driver will understand it, and other times they don’t. Those are decisions we all make on the track, and when you are in the sport long enough, you realize what those decisions could lead to and, honestly, who you throw a block on…
“I assume, when you see the 14 (Stewart), you probably expect something is going to happen. He has made that known over the years, so there are guys that you probably don’t want to do that to. But then again, at the end of the race, I feel like things go to the next level and they change, and to defend for a win you have to take some extreme measures at times.”