Stewart gains support following last-lap crash with Kyle Busch

The debate over who was at fault for the final-lap crash earlier this month at the Daytona International Speedway continued at the Chicagoland Speedway. Few, if anyone, however, seemed to pin the blame on Tony Stewart.


Stewart tried to pass Kyle Busch 100 yards short of the finish line when Busch swerved right to block him. Busch's car bumped into Stewart, sending Busch into a wild crash that also destroyed four other cars.

Although Stewart held his line, Busch continued to say he was "dumped." Nobody, including his older brother, bought that argument.

"I think that were all racing right up against the line," Kurt Busch said. "We're getting aggressive. We're pushing each other at Talladega where two cars can team up and really draft. At Daytona, we saw a guy try to put a block on another guy and you're not going to lift out of the gas on the last lap. So it does come down to a judgment call and a lot of times when NASCAR has to make a judgment call on you, you're not going to like the result.

"So I think that everything that went down at Daytona was kosher. My little brother tried to block Tony for a second time. He was too late. Tony felt a bit sorry for what he did, but he's going to do the same thing that everyone else was going to do at the end of those races to win."

The same thing happened in April at the Talladega Superspeedway when race leader Carl Edwards swerved to block Brad Keselowski. Edwards flipped, hitting the catchfence in front of the main grandstands. Unlike Busch, he accepted his role for the accident.

Kasey Kahne's car was involved in the Stewart-Busch melee. He rear-ended Busch so hard, Busch's car lifted and landed in Kahne's dashboard. Nobody was hurt.

He also defended Stewart.

"It was a long ways from a dump in my mind," Kahne said. "I'd say they were both battling for the win. It's Daytona, Talladega, those kinds of tracks you do that stuff. Tony did a great job to get to Kyle's outside. It's so hard to tell.

"To me, it looked like that Tony was going to side draft and get up and pass him at the line. Kyle turned right and tried to block and Tony was there. I would say that was definitely not Tony's fault. That was a racing incident and that's the way that racing goes."

Going green: Jimmie Johnson is more aware of the environment, and he's not using paper towel to prove it.

"I was watching something on TV the other day where the guy was talking about paper towel use and how every time you wash your hands you use a paper towel and there were some statistics they showed on that," Johnson said. "So now, I'm not using paper towels as much anymore, especially when I wash my hands. I have a towel I lay on the sink. My wife doesn't like it. She's like why is this sitting out. Well, it's to like dry my hands and I explain myself. And she's like that's a good idea."

He's also becoming more aware of plastic drink bottles that fill up landfills without decaying.

"There are so many water bottles and stuff that we use, that plastic bottles are an issue," he said. "So I just have one trusty plastic bottle that I carry as long as I can, and just keep filling it up through my refrigerator instead of pulling a new bottle of water out of the 'fridge. So I do stupid little things like that, up to my Hybrid Tahoe. Unfortunately there are not a lot of stations to fill it up with E-85. But I'm looking in that area and am trying to do everything I can to make a difference."

Pit stops: Indy-car driver Danica Patrick got a behind-the-scenes tour of the Stewart-Haas Motorsports shop on Monday. Driver Tony Stewart was testing tires at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, but Patrick spent the afternoon with Ryan Newman and other management officials ... Wood Brothers Racing and driver Bill Elliott have added the NASCAR Banking 500 on Oct. 17 to their schedule of selected appearances this year. The team now plans to compete in 13 of 36 races.



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