A controversial issue was brought out last Sunday during the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway- and no, it wasn't Jimmie Johnson winning again- that most people still don't know about.
A few laps after one of the restarts during Sunday's Sprint Cup race, Dale Earnhardt Jr. took his #88 AMP Chevrolet into the corner, tires on the apron. Unfortunately, he could not keep a handle on the car and spun himself around triggering a numerous car wreck which included chasers Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman, and others like Joey Logano and Bobby Labonte. Confirmed by Nascar officials and Trackpass Raceview, Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet, had a few choice words for Nascar's most popular driver.
Stewart, already frustrated with his car's handling and not so great run, was back in the pack after pit stops. After the wreck happened and he realized he was involved, Smoke, in the heat of the moment made a somewhat harsh, untrue statement about Dale Jr: he called him a "talentless S.O.B". For all intensive purposes, I'll let you guys figure out what he meant by that.
Now, when I first found out my favorite driver was dissing on one of my other favorite drivers, let's just say I wasn't too happy. My main man, as we all know, is best known for his sarcastic comments and fighting words when he's in the heat of battle. And just by looking at the stats, we all know that Dale Jr. is far from talentless. He has numerous Sprint Cup wins, 18 to be exact- with 88 top 5's and 142 top 10's to add- although the past two seasons have not been his greatest. But did Tony go to far this time, especially considering Little E and himself are known as pretty good friends?
What really signifies being "too harsh?" By now, I think we all know when Smoke makes rude and ignorant comments, he usually doesn't mean it. His initial comments may upset me, but I know he is only angry and frustrated. He is passionate about what he does, and hell.. his chase hopes have gone up in flames this year. Wouldn't you be angry and upset also?
Not only does he have to make up with Jr- which I'm sure by now, he has- it looks like Tony Stewart has another fued on his hands, vs. "Jr Nation". Many, many fans of Jr. were not pleased one bit with Smoke's comments. They are the first ones to know what a bad season for their driver feels like. But, lay off Smoke. He speaks his mind and let's you know how he's feeling at all times, no matter what anyone thinks. And nowadays in the sport, drivers are limited on what they can say because of what NASCAR might do, say, or make them pay. So, in response to my article title, do I think Tony Stewart is being TOO harsh? Nope. Nada. No way.
Do I think he is wrong about Dale Jr? Yes. But it's about time someone who has showed so much passion in the sport his entire life keeps doing that; no matter who gets angry, upset, or offended by his words. That is why Tony Stewart is my favorite driver, and has been since I began watching this sport. His brutal, brutal honesty; whether he is right or wrong, he speaks his mind.
I don't think that's going to change anytime soon.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the individual writer and may not reflect those of the group.