Crash course in settling score

It seems that NASCAR can have an unapologetic feud without the contentious crossfire (see Richard Childress/Kyle Busch).

Tony Stewart and Brian Vickers did a little bumping and grinding at Sonoma last weekend, and while it probably wasn't a very good idea from a practical standpoint — Stewart is precariously on the bubble trying to qualify for the Chase; Vickers needs a ride for next season — you have to admire their unabashed style of retribution, NASCAR style.


Stewart dumped Vickers for blocking him earlier in the race, then Vickers rallied for some payback by bumping into Stewart. The latter incident knocked both drivers out of top-10 contention: Stewart finished 39th; Vickers 36th.

"I don't blame him for dumping us back, but I don't race guys that way, I never have," Stewart said. "If guys want to block then they are going to be wrecked every time. Until NASCAR makes a rule against it, I am going to dump them every time for it. He did what he had to do, I don't blame him.


"He wrecked me and I wrecked him," Vickers said. "He made his move and I addressed it. The way I see it, we're all square."

"I've been complaining about the way guys have been racing all year," Stewart said. "I like Brian, I'm not holding it against him at all. If they want to block, that's what is going to happen to them every time."

Tallahassee-bound: Top NASCAR and Daytona Speedway folks are making a pit stop in Tallahassee on Wednesday for a reception at the governor's mansion. Florida Gov. Rick Scott is hosting the event, celebrating NASCAR's historical significance in Florida and its economic benefit to the state.

The list of attendees includes NASCAR Chairman Brian France, International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy and NASCAR President Mike Helton. Drivers in the mix include Vickers, Juan Pablo Montoya, Joe Nemechek, Ricky Carmichael and Joey Logano.

Trevor Bayne, the 2011 Daytona 500 winner, and NASCAR veterans Darrell Waltrip and Rusty Wallace will also attend.

Burton lagging: Of all the 2010 Chase guys who are in danger of not making the cut this year, Jeff Burton is it. Burton has gone 16 consecutive races without a top-10 finish.

George Diaz