Smoke, but no fire: Tony Stewart should quiet down

By Jared Turner

Tony Stewart had a lot of audacity walking over and lambasting Martin Truex Jr. on pit road for allegedly cutting him off in the closing laps of Sunday’s Auto Club 400.

This is the same Stewart – mind you – who, despite competing for one of the sport’s best organizations, entered Sunday’s race having finished no better than 30th in four previous outings this year. Moreover, Stewart hasn’t won a race since June 2, 2013 – an eternity ago by NASCAR standards.

Truex, meanwhile, is off to easily the best start of his Sprint Cup career, with five finishes inside the top eight in the season’s five races to date.

Before “Smoke” takes issue with how someone else is driving, perhaps he should look in a mirror and realize he can’t rest on yesterday’s laurels.

Oh, sure, he’s a three-time Sprint Cup Series champion – that hasn’t changed – but this year he’s struggled to even be competitive, a sure sign than his driving days are numbered.

Bad news for Vickers

With Brian Vickers’ revelation at Fontana that he’s going to be out of the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota at least three months while on blood thinners for a recurrence of blood clots, it’s obvious the 31-year-old driver faces an uphill climb to ever return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

And that, frankly, is a shame. No person just 31 years of age should have to deal with the kind of medical setbacks Vickers has faced over the past five years.

It seems that every time the affable native of Thomasville, North Carolina receives a medical clearance and begins to get his proverbial legs back underneath him, he’s dealt another blow.

So how long is Vickers willing to continue chasing his passion for racing? Knowing him, probably as long as his doctors will let him. However, the wisest move at this point might simply be to walk away and focus on staying healthy.