Tony Stewart used to have an image as the bad boy of NASCAR. Lately, he’s toned it down. But on Saturday he may have regained his throne after he got into an accident that ended with him tossing his helmet at the other driver.
During a race at the notorious Bristol Motor Speedway, Stewart and fellow driver Matt Kenseth were fighting for the lead when they started bumping each other. One too many bumps led to a wreck that essentially ended both of their chances at a win.
Whose fault was it? According to Steward, it was Kenseth’s. And we know that because as Kenseth was traveling down pit road later, Stewart took off his helmet, wound up, and heaved his helmet right at the hood of Kenseth. “Perfect strike,” as the announcer said:
And just in case Stewart hadn’t made his displeasure clear, he vowed after the race to “run over him [Kenseth] every chance I get for the rest of the year.”
As for the helmet collected by NASCAR officials on pit road? “The hell with the helmet,” he said.
Kenseth was confused with Stewart’s anger, claiming he gave Stewart room earlier to avoid a wreck and Stewart didn’t do the same.
“I guess he just wanted to do all the taking, so that’s where we ended up,” Kenseth said, adding the two had incidents this season at Sonoma and Indianapolis, and Stewart refused to speak to him about the Indy accident.
“I just said `OK, that’s fine. I’m just going to race you the same way you race me,’” Kenseth said.
As for Stewart’s threat to wreck Kenseth the rest of the year, Kenseth didn’t seem concerned.
“Look, Tony is probably the greatest race car driver in the garage. I don’t really have anything bad to say about Tony,” Kenseth said, adding he was expecting the helmet throw.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.