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Newman: Blocking a “chicken way of driving”

Apr 2, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT

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Heading into this weekend’s STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville Speedway, defending race winner Ryan Newman has spoken out against blocking.

The Stewart Haas Racing driver’s teammate and team boss, Tony Stewart, called Joey Logano out for it after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ most recent race at Auto Club Speedway two weeks ago.

“If you’ve got a run on me, take it,” Newman said Tuesday in a conference call. “If I can get through the corner better than you, then we’ll race, but blocking is an IndyCar form or F1 form or an open wheel type move it seems like. It’s not to say they don’t do it in NASCAR; obviously they do, but to me it’s just a chicken way of driving and not very respectful for the guys around you.”

Newman was involved in one of the worst accidents in NASCAR in recent memory, Talladega in April 2009, when a block happened in front of him. While racing for the win, Brad Keselowski moved down on Carl Edwards, which catapulted Edwards airborne, into the catch fencing and also contacting Newman’s car in the hood.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., by contrast, said blocking is more a matter of timing, and he’d expect it at certain points in a race.

“I would expect and accept to be blocked in certain situations,” he said. “But you’ve got to give me some race track.”


  1. wallio - Apr 2, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Both F1 and Indycar have rules against blocking. NASCAR doesn’t. But blocking is an open-wheel thing? Shows how much other racing mister Newman watches. You’re boss can clue you in Ryan.

    • icemanpjn - Apr 2, 2013 at 9:37 PM

      This is what happens when we let American race car drivers speak. They have no idea what they’re talking about but think they do.

  2. gbar22 - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Newman just called his boss a chicken. Stewart has clearly forgotten what happened at talladega…

  3. dzgroundedeffects - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Blocking IS a chicken move, I agree 100%. If you bother to watch them all, you would find with very little question it happens far more frequently in NASCAR than F1, Indycar, and Lights combined. Clearly Newman doesn’t watch the other forms or he would realize how ignorant that statement is.

    • icemanpjn - Apr 2, 2013 at 9:40 PM

      97% of NASCAR fans know no more about it than he does. They generally don’t even know that F1 and IndyCar are two unrelated series, more more related than NASCAR is to F1.

    • arno647 - Apr 5, 2013 at 8:41 PM

      i was a USAC Tech Steward and Chief Steward in the 80’s and 90;s when Stewart,Newman,Bliss,Leffler.Gordon,and some others,knew that blocking in an openwheel car would cause a car to do a bunch of endo;s,with the possibility of severe injury or even death. so blocking was a big “NO-NO” back then, cost some guys some races and so on, the only way NASCAB will ever reach a point of countless cars being torn up and costing car owners $$$$$$$,due to a green,white,checker finish,or hot tempered drivers like those using the cars as weapons,will be someone being severely injured or possible death. you look thru history,NASCAR has always followed Indy Car in Safety before this happens,take care of the issue at hand. if i was a car owner and i was running 5th or so on a G-W-CH- finish,and some yahoo causes a 10 car pileup at the start finish line and my driver goes from 5th to 15th and a torn up race car.purse money difference,guessing $50k,plus a torn up car. NASCAR you have been warned !

  4. scamp516dp - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    If memory serves me correctly, Newman arrived in NASCAR from the open wheel ranks. Watched Newman run a modified several times and there is no place for blocking with these types of open wheel machines. Asphalt or dirt, blocking is dangerous to all.

    • icemanpjn - Apr 2, 2013 at 9:41 PM

      That’s why it’s limited in F1 and IRL.

  5. mnwildfan15 - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    If they block you run their ass’ over SR. used the chrome horn plenty of times.

  6. rickyspanish24 - Apr 3, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    Newman’s right, however restricted plate racing is the exception. In those races, block away.

  7. indycarseries500 - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    Newman’s a smart man, the only driver with a college degree I believe. NASCAR and the drivers should listen to him and stop the blocking garbage. Also blocking is just as terrible in F1 if not worse than NASCAR. IndyCar and Motorcycles have the best racing on the planet due to the rules against it or the fact that it’s amazingly stupid on two wheels.

    • wallio - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:12 AM

      Tony George is that you?

      • indycarseries500 - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:47 AM

        That attack doesn’t even make sense.

    • purplesectornet - Apr 3, 2013 at 12:24 PM

      You really have no idea what you are talking about. And if you think the race craft in IndyCar is superior to F1 – then you are pretty much a moron. Blocking rules are clear in F1 and have been recently clarified. You get one move and you have to give space. In fact F1 is the only series at the moment that routinely penalizes drivers for violating these rules. IndyCar fans really are delusional. Sheesh.

      Natural terrain road racing at the highest level is about taking the apex whenever possible, and as long as the block is fair, you get away with it. Newman is talking about racing on ovals its a totally different subject, but for you to use this topic to promote the racecraft in IndyCar is the “best in the world” is just down right pathetic.

      • wallio - Apr 3, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        Well said purple. Indycar took Champ Car’s “invisible line rule” and murdered it for the “show”. F1, F2, GP2, GP3, FR3.5 all have it right: you get one move, that’s it.

  8. manchestermiracle - Apr 3, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    So then I must assume Newman thinks Earnhardt, sr., is a chicken because he died while trying to block.

    Earnhardt also crashed a lot of drivers during his career because he couldn’t get around them. I can imagine it was plenty intimidating to see him come up behind you knowing that if you didn’t move aside he’d simply run into you. NASCAR tracks often have no place to pass due to the design of the track as well as the cars. Thirty four hundred pounds at 150-200 mph is a pretty sketchy combination.

    There is a time and place for blocking, as it is part of racing. It can be especially effective in a race where getting off the racing line isn’t an option, like NASCAR. That’s one of the reasons Earnhardt ran into the back of so many cars.

  9. wallio - Apr 3, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    I wonder if NASCAR will fine Newman? Not for his massive ignorance (which should be fineable) but for complaining about the product. Denny got dinged $25K and his beef at least made sense.

  10. worknman24hours - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    Blocking is a part of ALL racing.

    If you don’t like it,GET OUT OF THE XXXXXXX RACE CAR.

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