Ryan Newman Calls Tony Stewart “Bipolar” After Richmond Wreck
Chase hopes dashed, the RCR driver rages against his former employer.
You might think Ryan Newman, who in 2009 was the first driver for the fledgling Stewart-Hass Racing team, has been waiting a while to call Tony Stewart a bipolar lunatic with anger issues. Stewart is a notoriously unrestrained orator unafraid to trade paint (and insults, and punches) on track, and Newman is, well, a bit of a milquetoast.
So at last night's Advance Auto Parts 400 in Richmond, when Stewart and Newman locked horns and knocked each other out of the race, Newman started talking trash and just couldn't stop, it felt a bit like a long overdue therapy session.
"[Stewart's] 14-car cut across my nose going into Turn 1," said Newman, who is officially out of the Chase for the Sprint Cup and 2016 championship contention. "I got into him after that, but he had already chopped into me and messed up my line. It's just disappointing that you've got somebody old like that's retiring—should be retired the way he drives—it's just ridiculous."
Then Newman brought up a touchy subject—Stewart's behavior in sprint cars: "I clipped him a little bit coming off (Turn) 2, but then he just came across my nose going down the back straightway there. I guess he thought he was in a sprint car again and couldn't control his anger... I only hit him in Turn 1 when he cut across my nose, so I don't think there was any reason other than him just being bipolar and having anger issues."
"Google Tony Stewart," Newman concluded. "You'll see all kinds of things he's done. Look it up on YouTube and everything else. He's quite the guy."
For his part, Stewart stepped up and admitted he wrecked Newman on purpose. But he had his reasons.
"He's right," the sardonic three-time NASCAR champ confessed. "I mean, that was the third time he had driven into me during the night. How many times does a guy get a free pass until you've had enough of it? He's got to do his part racing to get in [the Chase]. And if you're going to run into guys... Ryan and I have been good friends. I don't do that to him. But he hits me in 1, he hits me coming off Turn 2, and that was the third time by the time. There was one time earlier in the race that nobody saw. Three times? That's two more time than I normally let somebody run into me."
This controversial, made-for-TV exchange comes a week after John Hunter Nemechek intentionally wrecked Cole Custer to win a Camping World Truck Series race, leading to a comedic helmets-on wrestling match on pit lane.