Tony Stewart isn’t known for being the calmest driver on the NASCAR grid. ‘Smoke’ frequently has choice words for those who anger him on the racetrack, and sometimes he even throws inanimate objects at them.
Martin Truex Jr. had taken issue with Aric Almirola during last Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Fontana and was side-drafting him coming onto the straightaway when he caught a glimpse of Stewart’s car in his side-view mirror. Truex saw Stewart carrying a bit of momentum and cut three lanes across in order to receive the draft to push his way past Almirola, but misjudged the speed of Stewart’s No. 14 Chevy SS and ended up clipping his front end.
“I was like, ‘Oh, crap. I didn’t expect that.’ I expected (Stewart) would come up and lay on me and push me on by him. I just mistimed his momentum a little bit,” explained Truex Jr. to NASCAR.com.
“I was clear, we were on the straightaway. It wasn’t like I cut him off or anything. I just misjudged the run a little bit. And it just pissed him off. And he didn’t let off. He just slammed into me. The reason he was mad is that it knocked a hole in his nose.”
NASCAR All Access caught Smoke on video confronting Truex in the pits following Sunday’s race. Stewart finished a season-high 14th in the race, while Truex earned his sixth top ten of the year.