Friday, April 27, 2007

Stewart forced to meet with NASCAR; car held

TALLADEGA, Ala. - Tony Stewart met with NASCAR officials early this morning after a week in which he first skipped out on postrace media obligations following his second-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway and then bashed the sanctioning body on his weekly radio show.

According to the NASCAR entry blank, "the second and third place drivers, and the highest finishing Rookie of the Year candidate, must also report to the media center upon conclusion of the race."

Since he left the track without fulfilling his obligation to speak to TV reporters or appear in the media center, Stewart has lashed out at NASCAR on his weekly radio show. The two-time Cup champion questioned the timing of some cautions for debris while comparing NASCAR to professional wrestling.

The series of comments resulted in the sanctioning body issuing a statement saying officials found his remarks "disappointing."

Stewart met with officials at 7 a.m. EDT, and NASCAR did not let his Joe Gibbs Racing team unload its car from the transporter until that meeting ended at 7:35 a.m. Other competitors had unloaded their cars and begin work when the garage opened at 7 a.m.

Stewart is scheduled to meet with the media later this morning.


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