NASCAR Notes - Stewart's poor behavior deemed 'unacceptable'

Posted: Thursday, July 01, 2004

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. NASCAR officials fined Tony Stewart $50,000 and placed him on probation until Aug. 18 following Stewart's June 27 altercation with another driver.

Stewart's troubles started after the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at the Infineon Raceway.

He went to Brian Vickers' car and became very animated after Vickers apparently laughed at him when Stewart claimed Vickers wrecked him late in the race.

Vickers said Stewart tried to throw a punch at him while he was still strapped into the driver's seat.

"He came after me in the car," Vickers said. "He reached for me and knocked the breath out of me. It was not a fist and he didn't hit me in the face."

Stewart has been on probation most of his Nextel Cup Series career. And while he wasn't on probation when he had the altercation with Vickers, NASCAR chairman Brian France said on Tuesday, "Tony Stewart's behavior at (Sonoma) was unacceptable.

"Tony has to work within the same rules structure and behavioral expectations that we have for all of our drivers."

A year ago Jimmy Spencer was suspended for one race for slapping Kurt Busch in the face after a race at the Michigan International Speedway.

HIRED GUNS: Last week at Sonoma, road racers Boris Said and Scott Pruett participated in the Nextel Cup Series race. While some argue against specialists in the stock car race, nobody could argue against their success. Pruett finished third; Said was sixth.

This week, both return to their familiar element. They will be driving in Thursday night's Paul Revere 250 for the Grand American Sports Car Series at Daytona.

SHOCK-ING RULE: NASCAR is considering a rule that would limit the minimum and maximum pressure inside shock absorbers. Currently, NASCAR requests teams follow manufacturer's specifications, but the sanctioning body now wants greater control over shocks, especially since most teams build their own shocks.

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