News & Media


Newman, Montoya warned as hard feelings linger

May 06, 2011, David Caraviello, NASCAR.com

DARLINGTON, S.C. -- NASCAR officials met with Ryan Newman and Juan Montoya on Friday to try to mediate a truce between the two drivers, who feuded openly in last weekend's event at Richmond.

Evidently, very little was settled in the attempted peace summit held in the Sprint Cup hauler before opening practice at Darlington Raceway.

"The drivers were given their final warning, and are fully aware that we will be watching this very closely."

--KERRY THARP

"NASCAR did meet with Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya [Friday] before the first Sprint Cup Series practice," series spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "The drivers were given their final warning, and are fully aware that we will be watching this very closely. The meeting didn't go as well as we had hoped it would, and we're not completely through with this issue."

Montoya and Newman, who have an on-again, off-again feud that's simmered since Montoya first came to NASCAR's premier series, traded blows on the track last Saturday night at Richmond. Newman pinched Montoya into the wall at one point, and Montoya responded by spinning out Newman later in the race.

Some reports surfaced that a physical altercation erupted between the two Friday during the meeting. Newman would divulge no details. "It was a private meeting, that's why we met in the hauler," he said after qualifying second for the Showtime Southern 500. "I'm past all that. We'll work on [Saturday's] race. That's behind us. That's pretty much it."

Newman met with NASCAR for about 30 minutes after the race at Richmond. Montoya departed the track immediately after the event.

"I asked NASCAR [Thursday] if we should sit down with Ryan before the weekend, and I think after this I am going to go talk to them a little bit about it," Montoya said during his media session Friday morning, before the meeting occurred. "For me, the track is business as usual. We've both got to keep running good and get good finishes and move on."

Even so, reconciliation didn't seem to be in the air Friday. Looking back at their run-ins last week, Montoya said Newman treated him unfairly by not giving him enough room in the Richmond race. Newman said he felt Montoya's retaliation was disrespectful. Although the location changed, it was clear the hard feelings still lingered.

"I don't think once you have an issue, it's over in what we do," Newman said in a bit of foreshadowing Friday morning, prior to the meeting. "Even when you think you're over it with somebody else, it can re-flare really quick. I'm not sure if that was something of what happened at Richmond. But either way, I'm still not happy about it, let's put it that way."

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