Watch Tony Stewart Punch Joey Logano After Sprint Cup Auto Club 400

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IMarch 24, 2013

The stalking figure of Tony Stewart moving toward Joey Logano belied the ill intention the three-time Cup champion fostered for the 22-year-old driver.

Upon arrival, Stewart pushed Logano, and punches quickly followed. In a chaotic scene, the two were separated. This incident came after Kyle Busch's victory at the Auto Club 400. 

Stewart's anger stemmed from Logano's blocking on the race's final restart when Smoke, who led 18 laps on the day and has won two of the last four races at the track, moved down to the apron and had the momentum to pass Logano. 

However, Logano slid down to block Stewart. Smoke, with all momentum gone, fell way back in the pack as Logano motored on. 

Smoke's reaction shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone. He has not made his disdain for being blocked, or his forthcoming retaliation, a secret. 

Stewart wound up finishing 22nd. Meanwhile, Logano was running in the top three and alongside Denny Hamlin on the race's final lap when Hamlin and Logano got tangled and wrecked. Hamlin crashed particularly hard. 

Jeff Gluck of USA Today reports that Hamlin was airlifted to a nearby hospital but that he was "awake and alert." This incident came just a week after Logano knocked Hamlin into the wall at Bristol. 

Logano wound up with a sixth-place finish, and he certainly didn't seem to regret his move. USA Today passed along this quote from Logano on his block of Stewart: "That was a race for the lead. I felt if the 14 got underneath me, that was going to be the end of my opportunity to win the race, so I was just trying to protect the spot I had."

Given the bad blood Logano is rapidly creating, it could be a very eventful season for him and his team. 

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