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Stewart vows to wreck drivers who block him

TBO.com The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 02:58 PM

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DAYTONA BEACH -

Tony Stewart vowed Friday to wreck any driver who blocks him on the track, even if that policing costs him a spot in NASCAR's championship race.

Stewart intentionally spun Brian Vickers last week at Sonoma because he felt Vickers was blocking him during the race. Vickers retaliated later by wrecking Stewart, who had a car capable of contending for the win but wound up 39th.

It dropped him to 12th in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship standings.

"I am drawing a line in the sand and the next guy that blocks me, he is going to also suffer the same fate," Stewart said at Daytona International Speedway.

He also upped the ante, stating in a calm manner that he'd wreck the next driver enough to ensure he won't be able to come back and retaliate against Stewart.

"It doesn't matter who it is," he said. "I'll make sure that when I do it the next time that the guy doesn't have the opportunity to come back and wreck me."

His stance seems to be excessive, especially since Stewart is on the bubble of making the Chase with only 10 races left to qualify for the 12-driver field. Under new qualifying rules, only the top 10 drivers are guaranteed a Chase berth.

The other two spots will go to drivers ranked between 11th and 20th that have the most wins. Stewart is winless this season.

But racing smart to guarantee a Chase berth isn't on his agenda.

"I'm going to stay the course on it," Stewart said. "I'm just to the point where I'm fed up with some of the way some of these guys are racing each other. If we miss the Chase because of it, so be it. That's not what the team is going to want to hear. That's not what our sponsors are going to want to hear, but so be it."

Martin edges Bayne for pole

Mark Martin won the pole at Daytona International Speedway for tonight's Coke Zero 400 by bumping Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne from the top spot.

Martin's lap of 182.065 mph came late in Friday's qualifying session and bettered Bayne's lap of 182.002.

Clint Bowyer qualified third and was followed by Jeff Gordon, who is Martin's teammate and has already said he's committed to working with Martin in tonight's race.

David Ragan qualified fifth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is sixth and the top 10 was rounded out by Andy Lally, Jimmie Johnson, AJ Allmendinger and Paul Menard.

Logano wins Nationwide race

Joey Logano used a last-lap push from teammate Kyle Busch to win the Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

Danica Patrick was in position to race for the win with late help from JR Motorsports teammate and Tampa native Aric Almirola. Her two-car tandem swapped the lead over the closing laps with Elliott Sadler, who was being pushed by Kevin Harvick Inc. teammate Tony Stewart.

But Patrick and Almirola fell back into traffic, and the Sadler-Stewart tandem was caught by the Logano-Busch pairing. As Logano closed in on the finish line, a slew of cars began to wreck coming off the final turn.

Patrick was caught in it when Mike Wallace knocked her into the wall and she bounced off into traffic. Sadler and Stewart also were involved in the accident.

Patrick wound up 10th.

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