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NASCAR not penalizing Stewart, Logano for Fontana altercation

2:42 PM, Mar 26, 2013   |    comments
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Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - NASCAR revealed on Tuesday that it will not penalize Tony Stewart or Joey Logano for their post-race altercation last Sunday at Auto Club Speedway.

The sanctioning body posted on its Twitter account that "NASCAR will issue no penalties from last weekend's events at @ACSupdates."

Following the conclusion of the Auto Club 400, Stewart got into a physical altercation with Logano on pit road. Stewart was furious with Logano for blocking him multiple times during a restart with 11 laps to go.

Stewart pushed Logano around, while Logano threw a water bottle at him before crew members from both teams intervened. Stewart later said he's "going to bust (Logano's rear)."

Logano said he would contact Stewart in hopes of resolving the matter. When Stewart was asked if he'll accept Logano's call, he replied, "Hell no. If he wants to talk about it, we'll talk about it. After he threw the water bottle at me like a little girl, we'll go at it now."

Logano's skirmish with Stewart came after he and Denny Hamlin made contact with each other and spun while battling for the lead during the final lap. Logano scraped the outside wall in turn 4 but went on to finish third. Hamlin skidded down the track and then slammed hard into the inside retaining wall. His car came up off of the ground and spun around after it ricocheted off of the wall.

Hamlin climbed out of his car under his own power but then laid down on the track, as safety personnel quickly tended to him. Shortly after, he was airlifted to nearby Loma Linda University Medical Center. Hamlin remained hospitalized until late Monday after being diagnosed with a compression fracture in his lower back.

According to a report from USA Today, Hamlin wore a thick back brace when he left the hospital. He also had difficulty breathing. Hamlin said that he had a hard time breathing after the accident occurred.

"The position I was in, I couldn't breathe at all," Hamlin told USA Today. "I'm still having a hard time breathing. Literally, when I felt a pop, I couldn't move at all and I knew I had to get flat to my back to be able to breathe again. That's why I rushed out and just laid flat on the ground to start breathing again."

Hamlin will be evaluated by Dr. Jerry Petty of the Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Associates in North Carolina later this week. Petty has evaluated numerous NASCAR drivers in the past.

The Sprint Cup Series is off this coming weekend for Easter before heading to Martinsville Speedway, a half-mile racetrack, the first weekend in April. Hamlin's status for Martinsville is unknown at this time. His injury might require surgery.

Hamlin and Logano's incident at Fontana was the latest episode in their on- going rivalry. Last week at Bristol Motor Speedway, Hamlin hit the back of Logano and spun him out in the late going. After the race, the two had heated words with each other followed by a shoving match between both of their teams. Hamlin and Logano then traded jabs on Twitter. NASCAR did not issue any penalties for that altercation.

Not knowing that Hamlin was injured during the last-lap crash at Fontana, Logano said after the race, "(Hamlin) probably shouldn't have done what he did last week (at Bristol), so that's what he gets."

Both drivers have yet to speak to each other since the accident at Fontana.

The Sports Network

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