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Publication: NASCAR News
Stewart docked 25 points

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          NASCAR NEWS - Thursday, August 2, 2007
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Stewart docked 25 points and fined for bad language
By Official Release 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - NASCAR announced Tuesday that Tony 
Stewart has been fined $25,000 and penalized 25 Nextel 
Cup Series driver championship points, as a result of 
using inappropriate language during a post-race televised 
interview following his victory Sunday at Indianapolis 
Motor Speedway. 

Stewart, driver of the No. 20 Chevrolet, retains his 
fifth-place standing in the series points, with his total 
points reduced to 2,599. 

Stewart violated Section 12-4-A of the series rule book 
(actions detrimental to stock car racing) by using the 
inappropriate language. 

"This one's for every one of those fans in the stands who 
pull for me every week and take all the [expletive] from 
everybody else," Stewart said to an ESPN reporter as he 
began to walk away. 

The curse spoiled ESPN's return to NASCAR. Stewart is 
feuding with the network, which criticized him two weeks 
ago for saying he was going to drink a case of beer to 
celebrate his July 15 win in Chicago. 

An ESPN analyst said later that Stewart was not a good 
role model, and Stewart has been reluctant to do interviews 
with its announcers. He participated in the post-race 
interview at the finish line, but it ended after he used 
the expletive. 

He later criticized the network when asked if he would be 
celebrating the Indy win with another case of beer. 

"I don't want anybody from ESPN talking about how 
irresponsible I am, even though it's legal to do everything 
I did," he said. "Heaven forbid you actually have fun in 
life." 

In addition, Stewart's car owner, Joe Gibbs, has been 
penalized 25 car owner championship points because of the 
infraction. 

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Junior still in last Chase spot despite failed engine
Newman, McMurray also take hits; Kurt Busch closes gap
By Mark Aumann, NASCAR.COM

INDIANAPOLIS - How will Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s engine failure 
and resulting 34th-place finish Sunday affect his ability 
to make this season's Chase for the Nextel Cup? 

If history is any indication, it probably won't make much 
difference. However, what may play a bigger role is the 
fact that many of Junior's biggest rivals had similar 
fates in Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. 

Earnhardt was a contender for the victory for much of the 
first half of the race, leading a career-high 33 laps at 
the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and looking like the driver 
with the best chance of beating Tony Stewart. 

But as the No. 8 Chevrolet headed down Indy's famous 
frontstretch, the engine let go in a telltale puff of 
smoke, the white plume trailing behind the car as 
Junior's good run ended after 136 laps. 

"We broke the pulley off the front end of the motor," a 
disappointed Junior said after pulling the car into the 
garage. "The harmonic balance was still there and the 
pulley's gone. I guess the motor broke. You have bad luck 
every once in a while. 

"We've had great motors all year long and I'm real proud 
of the engine shop. That's what keeps us running up front 
at places like this. We need the same power the rest of 
the year." 

continued below...

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It was exactly opposite of the finish Earnhardt wanted -- 
and deserved -- on Sunday. Coming into Indianapolis with 
a 30-point lead over Ryan Newman for the 12th and final 
spot in the Chase, Junior left the Brickyard clinging to 
a 13-point advantage over Kurt Busch, unofficially. 

"You just got to take chances when you're trying to stay in 
the Chase," Junior admitted. "We had a good car [Sunday]. 
The car was fast and I was really enjoying myself. 

"We finished bad, and that is no good with the points deal. 
I'm not happy about that, but there's nothing we can do 
about it." 

In 2005, a Lap 62 crash on a restart left Earnhardt 43rd 
and dropped him from 14th to 16th in the standings, 
effectively ending his chances at making the Chase. But 
last season, a pit-road gamble gave him track position and 
a sixth-place finish, which set off a run of four top-10 
finishes in the next five races, solidifying his position 
in the Chase. 

Things could have been worse for Junior if not for similar 
issues with many of the drivers directly below him in the 
standings. 

Newman qualified third and had hopes of gaining ground. 
Instead, his No. 12 Dodge immediately suffered handling 
issues and he quickly fell out of the top 10. Then on Lap 
21, he slammed into the wall in Turn 4 and wound up 42nd. 

"It's unfortunate," Newman said. "It was a pretty good lick 
into the wall and it ended our day. It's devastating in 
more than one way. It just depends on how far we have to 
come back." 

continued below... 

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Newman switched positions with Busch, and is now 59 points 
behind Earnhardt with six races remaining before the cutoff.
Busch rallied over the last 60 laps to post an 11th-place 
finish. 

Jamie McMurray's dwindling Chase hopes -- and his No. 26 
Ford -- took a hit on Sunday. McMurray was involved in a 
multi-car accident on Lap 46 which included Jimmie Johnson, 
Ricky Rudd, Scott Riggs, Bill Elliott and Carl Edwards. 

McMurray said it was a matter of more than one car trying 
to occupy the same space at the same time, especially on 
a track as narrow and unforgiving as Indianapolis. 

"You just don't realize how much you're sliding around 
here," McMurray said. "You're pretty much already out of 
control and when their momentum gets lost or someone makes 
a fast move like that, it's hard not to run into each 
other. 

"I was trying to stay off of Jimmie and then, I think, 
maybe [Riggs] or somebody got into me, which is not his 
fault. It's just one of those deals where maybe [we were] 
racing a little too hard, too early." 

McMurray is still 15th in the standings, but now trails 
Earnhardt by 113 points. 

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Copyright 2007 by NextEra Media. All rights reserved.

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