By Steve Pouliot - 7 October 2012:
Tony Stewart does not having a reputation for holding his tongue. He's not one to roll out a "God, team sponsor" type of interview after a race. good or bad, he'll usually tell you where the bear does his business. This was the case on Sunday at Talladega.
Smoke was leading as the field headed into turn 3-4 on the final lap Sunday, when Michael Waltrip had a run on him low. Tony turned down to the low line on the racing surface, but misjudged Waltrip's closing rate. Stewart's block resulted in Waltrip getting into the #14, and the two turned sharply to the right, basically collecting the field.
“I was trying to win the race, and I was trying to stay ahead of Matt Kenseth,” said Stewart. “Michael Waltrip got a great run on the bottom, had a big head of steam. When I turned down, I turned down across the right-front of his car. A mistake on my part. It cost a lot of people a bad day because of it.”
A total of 24 cars were involved in the final melee.
“Tony is a guy that takes blame for things and you’ve got to respect him for that, but I think there’s a little more to it,” Jeff Gordon said. “You’re trying to judge making that move, but it’s almost impossible to judge it because they’re coming so fast. That’s aerodynamics, that’s power and that’s just the nature of the type of racing that we have right now at Talladega.”
Matt Kenseth, who recovered from his own minor spin earlier in the race, grabbed the win. Gordon came home in the runner up spot, followed by Kyle Busch, David Ragan and Regan Smith in the top-five. Greg Biffle, Brad Keselowski, Travis Kvapil, Newman and Jeff Burton comprised the remainder of the top-10. photo credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR