Tony Stewart’s season isn’t going too smoothly so far, but things were looking up at the Toyota Owners 400 in Richmond Sunday. Stewart was having a solid run and was even battling for a top ten position with under 50 laps to go, but a small mishap involving him and Dale Earnhardt Jr. put an abrupt end to his day.
On the Lap 358 restart, Stewart was racing on inside of Dale Earnhardt Jr. as they headed into Turn 1. Earnhardt Jr. was attempting to stay on the outside, having just barely cleared the No. 51 Chevy of Justin Algaier, when Stewart clipped his left rear quarter panel, sending him into a spin. Needless to say Stewart, who cursed Dale Jr.’s name as his No. 14 car came to a rest on the side of the track, wasn’t too happy.
There’s been some debate over who is at fault in this incident, but the majorities seem to have sided with Earnhardt Jr. He was pretty high towards the wall, and Stewart was extremely close to his car even though they were only two wide. The way we see it, Stewart didn’t have to be that close to Earnhardt and could have left himself a bit more room considering his inside was clear.
Check out the video below and let us know if you think Smoke’s at fault or not. No matter who’s to blame, it’s unfortunate to see Stewart rack up yet another finish of 30th or worse this year, especially after his strong performance at Richmond.