Tony Stewart and Joey Logano escape NASCAR punishment

Jonathan Ferrey

NASCAR will not penalize Tony Stewart or Joey Logano for their actions this past weekend at Fontana, the sanctioning body announced Tuesday.

Neither Tony Stewart nor Joey Logano will face any disciplinary action from NASCAR in the wake of the events Sunday at Auto Club Speedway.

There had been some question among fans whether either driver deserved punishment.

Stewart was facing a potential penalty for accosting Logano on pit road, as well for cursing repeatedly in a television interview following the altercation -- though most of the language was bleeped out by Fox.

"Dumb little son-of-a-bitch runs us clear down to the infield," Stewart said to Fox immediately afterward. "He wants to bitch about everybody else and he's the one who drives like a little bitch.

"I'm going to bust his ass."

NASCAR, as has been the case since implementing its' "Boys, have at it" philosophy that encourages aggressive behavior, decided that Stewart's actions didn't cross any line.

"A few years ago, we backed away from micro-managing a driver's emotions," Sprint Cup Series director John Darby said Tuesday during a teleconference. "You would hope in today's world that if somebody didn't win a race they would be upset about it for whatever reason."

At one point it appeared Stewart tried to throw a punch at Logano as both were being restrained by their respective teams.

"A couple of drivers at the end of the race arguing a little bit doesn't create a foul in our world today," Darby said. "The crews did a great job of managing their drivers to make sure it didn't cross the line to where there was physical violence or anything like that. That's what you'd hope for."

The sanctioning body also determined that Logano did not intentionally wreck Denny Hamlin and the two were merely racing hard for the win when the two made contact in Turn 3, which resulted in Hamlin hitting the inside concrete retaining wall head-on.

Hamlin suffered a compression fracture of his L1 vertebrae and is facing the possibility of missing some races while he recuperates.

Logano also was cleared for his role in the pit road skirmish with Stewart.

As for why SAFER barriers haven't been installed on every wall surrounding the racing surface, Darby equated it "walking before you run" but did say that each track is evaluated annually and recommendations are made if there is a particular part of the track that NASCAR has concern with.

"As we go to each racetrack and that same evaluation happens, there's a constant growth of SAFER barriers and closing gates and redesigning gates and wheel fences and the whole project," Darby said. "It's an evolution.

"In light of Denny's accident, I'm sure that there will be more investigations done in that area of the racetrack. I also feel very positive about the fact that if a recommendation is made, that the Speedway will be very proactive in helping getting that resolved."

Darby also reiterated that NASCAR is not looking into a rule change that would prohibit blocking as some other forms of motor sports enforce.

"With Sprint Cup Series racing, obviously being far above a lot of the other forms of racing as far as competitiveness, we are going to have close racing," Darby said. "We are going to have close front-to-rear racing, and there's a lot of that that's just part of competition.

"As good as the racing has been and as exciting as it's been, I don't think we need to jump in the middle of any of that and screw it up."

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