The most talked-about moment from the 2019 All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway went down after the checkered flag had already been waved.
While Kyle Larson was celebrating his big win, Clint Bowyer was busy throwing punches at Ryan Newman while the driver of No. 6 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing was still in the driver's seat. The whole thing was over the fact that Newman had made contact with Bowyer's car during the Cup race. Hey, it wasn't the sort of offense that would elicit that reaction from most NASCAR drivers, but Bowyer isn't most drivers.
Now, these sort of post-race skirmishes tend to happen in NASCAR from time to time, but someone who took serious issue with the scrap was Tony Stewart. Not because Newman and Bowyer fought in the first place. Stewart did have his fair share of dust-ups during his NASCAR days, after all.
As it turns out, Tony's beef was that Bowyer left his helmet on throughout the whole altercation. Taking off your helmet is an unwritten rule in NASCAR fisticuffs, and Tony said as much during an interview with Fox Sports.
Tony Stewart on what he told Clint Bowyer after the haymakers with Ryan Newman #nascar ?@NASCARONFOX? pic.twitter.com/VmkMG70VWT
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) May 22, 2019
"These kids leave their helmets on to fight," Stewart said. "Men take their helmets off, and they fight. If you're gonna fight, fight."
Stewart admitted that he wasn't actually in Charlotte for the race, but saw the fight once it started blowing up on Twitter. According to him, the first thing he did was reach out to Bowyer, who drove the No. 14 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing, which is, of course, owned by Stewart. So, he definitely didn't need to mince words.
"The first thing I did was text Clint," Stewart said. "I said, 'Listen.' I said, 'Take your helmet off if you're going to get in a fight for Pete's sakes. And he goes, 'I didn't have time.'"But the second text I sent him, I said, 'Don't lose that passion to fight for what you believe in.' So I don't know, I picked at him a little bit."
Classic Stewart. Always stirring the pot. You can tell he misses his NASCAR racing days. What do you think the three-time Cup Series champ would have done in Bowyer's shoes? I think we can all assume the answer to that one. Simply put, where there's Smoke, there's fire.
MORE: Three NASCAR Legends Are Joining Tony Stewart's Racing Series
Enjoy all things sports?
Don't miss a story! Sign up for daily stories delivered to your inbox.