By Toby Christie, NASCAR Editor
The night started off great for Tony Stewart, he gave the command for the field to start their engines from inside his racecar, and it just felt like he was going to have a good night.
A little over an hour later, Stewart was just lucky he was able to walk away unscathed after a vicious crash on lap 70, which ended the three-time Sprint Cup Series champion’s final Sprint All-Star Race.
But Stewart wasn’t in a thankful mood after climbing from his destroyed No. 14 Chevrolet SS. Stewart was among the many who were puzzled by this year’s All-Star format, and Stewart didn’t mince words about the confusing moments that led up to his crash.
“I’m as baffled as anybody. I don’t know how we were scored a lap down after they stopped the 20 car, and they pit everyone together. Lap down and lead lap and lap down. It’s the most screwed up All-Star race I’ve ever been a part of,” a seething Stewart stated. “I’m glad this is the last one.”
Stewart reiterated that he was fine after taking a huge hit, but that the officiating of the race left him quite disgruntled.
“Yeah. I’m alright, except I’m just madder then hell, because I don’t understand how in the hell they’ve officiated this whole thing from start to finish.”
Stewart’s day ended, when Chase Elliott attempted to make a green flag pit stop at lap 70, while in the middle of a pack of cars racing for position. When Elliott began to slow down, cars began to pile into each other, and Stewart turned into a 185-mile-per-hour pinball.
The only reason Elliott was attempting to make the pit stop was because the format of the race required drivers to make at least a two-tire green-flag pit stop in each of the first two segments.
As a result of the crash, Stewart’s final All-Star appearance will end in a last-place finish, but the results of the crash could have been much, much worse.
Image: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images