When Tony Stewart sent a helmet flying with malicious intent toward Matt Kenseth, it was clear that the NASCAR season got a little more interesting.
Maybe it was the crow hop that Stewart put in before the throw, the fact he used two hands for extra power or just simply that he walked toward Kenseth, who was still driving his car, and threw it all. There was no denying that Smoke was fuming with more than the typical post-race frustration.
This is what you would classify as "thinly veiled anger," or maybe "invisibly veiled anger." Check it out:
Kenseth and Stewart were both racing in the Irwin Tools Night Race on Saturday, and they were battling for the lead.
On Lap 332, they traded paint to the point that they both wound up out of control and into the inside wall.
Stewart was upset, not with the wreck, but with Kenseth's blocking strategy before it. Well here, there is no sense in me trying to explain this when Stewart does it so succinctly in this quote captured by The Sporting News' Jeff Owens:
I checked up twice (off the gas) to not run over him and I learned my lesson there—I’m going to run over him every him every chance I’ve got from now until the end of the year, every chance I’ve got.
We got by Matt there, and it probably wasn’t the ideal pass, but we made sure to try the same thing (every time). We ran on the restart faster than him each lap, so we just learned our lesson that next time just drive through him, not even be patient by him. We’re not going to give him that chance again.
At the time of writing this, the race is still in progress, but not with Kenseth and Stewart. They are in line to finish 27th and 28th, respectively.
This rivalry and storyline is not going to go away, and it is set to play out on a big stage. Kenseth is currently second in points, and Stewart is ninth. Both of these racers have bigger fish to fry, but I wouldn't bet on the bigger picture keeping these two from trading paint next time they are near each other on the track.