Tony Stewart-Joey Logano Fight: Harsh Words Will Give Way to Dramatic Racing

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IMarch 26, 2013

FONTANA, CA - MARCH 24:  Joey Logano, driver of the #22 AAA Southern California Ford, is held back by crew members after an altercation on track with Tony Stewart (not pictured), driver of the #14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 24, 2013 in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The best bet in sports for the coming weeks just might be that Joey Logano won't finish the next Sprint Cup race on April 7 at Martinsville Speedway.

The 22-year-old Penske driver has been busy ruffling a few feathers as of late, and there are going to be a few of his peers who won't hesitate to send him into the wall. 

Namely, Tony Stewart

In case you missed it, which is a feat in and of itself, Stewart and Logano got into it last week at the Auto Club 400. Stewart was upset that Logano went down to the apron to block on the race's final restart, and we all know Stewart does not take kindly to being blocked. 

So, after the race, this happened: 

This was not just heat-of-the-moment anger for Stewart. Later in the day, he colorfully expressed his contempt for Logano in this interview: 

Them's fighting words! 

While Stewart is obviously calling out Logano, the possibility of these two resolving these issues with an NHL-style battle is slim to none. 

What is far more likely, is a little on-track fireworks. 

Whenever the No. 14 and the No. 22 are near each other on the track, it would be wise to follow this contemptuous pair. 

If Logano even so much as fakes a block on Smoke, Logano is likely headed for the wall.

However, it's not just Smoke who Logano has to watch out for either. In fact, Logano and his Penske team may want to invest in extra spotters. 

We haven't even mentioned Denny Hamlin yet.

On the final lap of last week's race, Logano sent Hamlin into the wall, and ultimately the hospital. According to ESPN's David Newton, Hamlin suffered "a compression fracture of his lower back," and Hamlin is unsure if he'll be ready to go at Martinsville as a result. 

That incident was just the latest installment of that budding rivalry as the two got tangled the week before at Bristol. 

Meanwhile, every other driver on the Sprint circuit is paying attention to what is going on. This doesn't mean that they are going to side with one driver over another, but they are all now aware that Logano is cranking up his ruthless nature. 

This is going to lead to more intense racing whenever Logano is battling for position. 

So, while the war of words stole headlines following last week's race, the real fireworks moving forward are going to play out on the track—which is where it needs to happen.