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article imageNASCAR: Busch celebrates win while tempers flare on pit road

By John Duarte     Mar 25, 2013 in Sports
Fontana - Kyle Busch was enjoying the moment after winning the Auto Club 400 on Sunday afternoon, while a short distance down pit lane a heated war of words escalated into a pushing match between Joey Logano and Tony Stewart.
Busch swept the weekend NASCAR races at the Auto Club Speedway, winning the Sprint Cup race barely 24 hours after winning the Nationwide Series’ Royal Purple 300, on Saturday. He joked about how the action on the track and the scuffle in pit lane might steal the headlines.
“I did win the race today, by the way. So that might be a story,” Busch said. “Sometimes you have to have a little luck on your side and, fortunately, we had that today.”
When it was all said and done, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second behind Busch and Logano was third.
After the race, action continued off the track when tempers flared in the pit area. Stewart accused Logano of blocking him during the final restart of the afternoon with 10 laps to go in the race and confronted him after the race. Logano defending his actions as part of racing.
Tempers flare in pit lane after the Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Fontana  California  in ...
Tempers flare in pit lane after the Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Fontana, California, in March 24, 2013.
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
“I had to do what I had to do to get to the front and win the race,” said Logano. “I had to throw a block. That was the race for the lead. I felt if the 14 (Stewart) got underneath me, that was going to be the end of my opportunity to win the race. I was just trying to protect the spot I had.”
That didn’t sit well with Stewart, who took objection to Logano’s driving as he was headed for what could have been his best finish of the young season. Stewart ended up 22nd.
“For a guy who’s been complaining about how everyone else is driving and he does that, that’s a double standard,” said Stewart of Logano’s move to push Stewart to the bottom of the track. Stewart confronted Logano on pit road after the race. He shoved Logano which was followed by Logano tossing a water bottle at Stewart. A brief scuffle ensued between the two pit crews.
“He’s going to learn a lesson,” Stewart warned after the race. “He’s a tough guy on pit road as soon as one of his crew guys is in the middle of it. Until then, he’s a scared little kid and wants to throw a water bottle at me.”
Stewart’s worries were nothing compared to how Denny Hamlin fared in contact with Logano. The two collided while racing for the checkered flag on the final lap and Hamlin crashed head-on into the inside wall. Hamlin managed to climb out of his car, but immediately collapsed. Safety workers placed him on a stretcher and transported the driver to the in-field care centre. Joe Gibbs Racing issued a statement shortly after the end of the race saying Hamlin had been taken to hospital for observation.
Earnhardt Jr. is off to a tremendous start this Sprint Cup season. He has finished in the Top 10 in all five races in 2013, three of those in the Top 5. Earnhardt Jr. leads the Sprint Cup standings by 12 points over defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski and is 16 points ahead of 2013 Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson.
NASCAR travels to Martinsville, Virginia, for the next race on the Sprint Cup schedule, the STP Gas Booster 500 on April 7.
More about Nascar, Sprint cup series, kyle busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, joey logano
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