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Stewart's advice thrown in reverse

Tony Stewart spoke loudly about how NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers had to stop driving so wildly.

In Sunday's Daytona 500, Stewart banged into Jeff Gordon.

And Matt Kenseth.

And Kyle Busch.

Stewart finished fifth despite all the fender-bending, the most serious of which came with Kenseth.

On lap 107, the two banged coming down the backstretch before Stewart appeared to jerk his car to the left, knocking Kenseth from the inside lane and careening into the infield.

"Tony took me out intentionally," said Kenseth. "There's no two ways about that. He was mad because earlier in the race when I passed him he got loose, which I didn't think I did anything wrong. . . . Tony went and said all that stuff earlier in the week. If he's worried about people's lives and everything, and then he's gonna wreck you on purpose at 190, I wasn't too happy with that."

Stewart wasn't too happy with Kenseth.

"I guess Matt didn't think anything when he got me sideways over in [Turn] Two, either," Stewart said. "He should have thought about that first. But I got penalized, but they didn't penalize him for knocking me sideways. He should have been smart enough to know not to be tuckin' down our doors in the first 20 laps of a 200-lap race at Daytona. He has no room to complain. He started the whole thing and I finished it."

Stewart was sent to the back for the incident, but when he was coming back on the track from pit lane, Kenseth appeared to lean toward Stewart's car. NASCAR then penalized Kenseth for that.

With six laps to go in the race, it was Busch's turn to bounce around with Stewart. The pair collided on the backstretch as Busch pushed Stewart to the inside. Busch was black-flagged for the incident.

"Kyle Busch, he's the one guy that's probably going to hurt somebody out here," Stewart said. "He's all over the place. He's what we call a bird with no feathers. He just doesn't know where he's going. He had a fast car. He just needs to learn how to drive the thing."

Stewart's first incident was with Gordon in which both drivers accepted blame. On lap 48, both were near the front when Gordon got loose and rode up the track in Turn Two, and his rear right came into contact with Stewart's left front, and both banged off the wall.

"It was an unfortunate incident that hurt us both a lot," said Gordon.

"[The race] was like a battle box with 30 400-pound cars," said Stewart. "It was a wild day. We ended up going to the back about five different times and came back to the front. It was a wild 500 for sure."


Upon meeting at the postrace news conference, Ryan Newman chided Casey Mears for not following Newman when he tried to pass Jimmie Johnson on the last lap. "You cost me a million dollars," he said.


Dale Earnhardt Jr. had this great description of his car's troubles while calling his team on the radio: "This motor's like an old man -- it'll wake up and run for a while, and then it falls back asleep."


Here's part of the reason Carl Edwards is so well-liked by anyone following the Nextel Cup. After he smashed into Kyle Petty -- in a wreck on lap 80 that was caused by Jeff Green's spin -- he was overly apologetic to Petty, saying, "I should have been more worried about stopping my car . . . and I ended up being the guy that got Kyle."

Petty quickly absolved Edwards and put the blame on Dale Jarrett ("The 88 [Jarrett] already ran over the 66 [Green] at that time"), as did Green, who was sent spinning when he came into contact with Jarrett.

"Best car I've ever had," said Green. "and Dale Jarrett took it away."

Said Jarrett: "He touched the left-front of my car. He's got to know that somebody else is there, too."


Jimmie Johnson entered the postrace news conference the same way teammate Jeff Gordon one year ago. With a shrieking "Woooooo!!!!" . . . Before the race, Sterling Marlin (backup car), Bobby Labonte (engine change) and Joe Nemechek (engine change) were sent to the back of the field. . . . Coming to a monologue near you: pace car driver Jay Leno broke up the media room several times, including a gold-medal zinger: "I don't get curling with the broom and the thing. What do you do to turn pro in curling? Become a maid?" . . . Kansas City Chiefs Tony Gonzalez and John Welbourn and the Jacksonville Jaguars' Brett Romberg attended their first Daytona 500. Welbourn offered his take on the similarities to tailgating in NASCAR and the NFL: "Anytime you see people drinking way before noon, you know it's going to be a good time." . . . Strangest freebie given to the media: NASCAR-brand fully cooked bacon. . . . This is not a misprint: making its debut at the speedway this week was Daytona 500 cologne.


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