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So how heavy will NASCAR break on Earnhardt and Mears?


Tony Stewart leading the pack at Phoenix (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


   By Mike Mulhern


   NASCAR officials will likely lower the boom on Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Casey Mears for late-race and post-race antics here Saturday night.
   The two tangled several times late, bringing out the final caution that almost cost Mark Martin the win.
     Mears: "I didn't mean to get together with Dale Jr. I think he was trying to save fuel and make it to the end without stopping, and I wheel-hopped the car getting into the corner and ended up making contact with him.
    "I guess he was a little bent out of shape about it because he spun me out after the checkered flag."
    If not for Martin, the night would have been Tony Stewart's. He was about the only man who had a shot at Martin, after Kurt Busch slapped the wall. Those three pretty much had the three-game all to themselves…aside from that late stretch run by Kyle Busch, who ran afoul of NASCAR officials on the final round of pit stops and was busted for speeding, which he vehemently argued. NASCAR, as it typically does, declined to provide any details of Busch's speeding call.
   "To run second to Mark Martin is good….and it's good to see him still kicking butt," Stewart said.
   "I think this generation -- where everybody is supposed to retire a lot earlier -- the longevity seems a lot more realistic now.
    "This shows that a guy like him can kick out butts just like anybody else."
    Martin ran his first NASCAR Cup tour events back in 1981…years before Kyle Busch was even born. And Kurt Busch, just two years old when Martin his tour debut, recalls getting a present from his father once, when growing up – a copy of Martin's book on strength training.
   For Stewart the night showed – again – that he's put together a top-notch team, in just a couple of months really. And it shows the value of hiring Bobby Hutchens as team manager.  Even teammate Ryan Newman, who's had some tough luck this spring, was leading late in the evening, though on a no-pit gambit, which didn't quite pan out.
   "We're chiseling away," Stewart said. "Man, it's like I can taste it…I know it's coming."
   In fact Martin worried that Stewart might pull a fast one on that last restart with six to go. But Martin has done enough restarts himself, and closed the deal for a five-length win.
   "I was really proud, and glad, to see Mark get this one," Stewart said. "He deserved it."
    And Martin indeed had the fastest car all night.
    But Stewart himself is upbeat about the rest of his season: "We're a young team, and we have a lot to look forward to.
   "These last three weeks in particular, we've been chiseling away…inching away at it. We're close.
    "You feel privileged to be this good this soon. This is the best spring I've ever had.
    "It's nice to finally run good in the first third of the season instead of having to wait until the middle third and the last third."

More pit road woes for Dale Earnhardt Jr.....and another what-the-heck-happened night for the sport's biggest name (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jr. a cry baby man up and

Jr. a cry baby man up and race, go out back of the barn doit like a man

not on the track or pits where some one else can get hurt.

what would have SR. done?

Sr. would be raising hell

Sr. would be raising hell about this caroftomorrow just like he did about that 5x5 thing....and Sr. would be raising hell about Jr. letting teammates show him up -- Mark Martin won in his eighth race with Hendrick, at age 50....and Jr. didn't win till last June, and that was on gas mileage, not a kickass performance like Mark put on last Saturday. The question now is what will Rick Hendrick do about this. He can't sit idly by and let Jr. go down the tubes...

Nascar's blatant favoritism,

Nascar's blatant favoritism, rule chnges when they feel, and inconsistencies with penalties and infractions.Hopefully the FBI will look into this where it is a sport that is bet on in las Vegas and other gambling venues. It is just wrong, and I'm sorry to see it all go downhill.

There's nothing like Nascar,

There's nothing like Nascar, those images do all the talking. Nascar is not about sports, it's about the spectacle. Now I really want those cheap Nascar tickets.

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