Juan Pablo Montoya and Ryan Newman met behind closed doors with NASCAR at Darlington Raceway on Friday following their on-track altercation at Richmond last week.
The Earnhardt Ganassi driver, who had started last week's event from pole position, was battling among the top 10 with the Stewart Haas racer following their first stops when they made contact. Montoya hit the wall hard with the right rear of his car and his Chevrolet sustained major damage. Newman's didn't and he was able to carry on racing to a good finish. Later in the race, Montoya, not on the lead lap anymore, showed his displeasure with the previous incident by giving a nudge to Newman's car, running eighth at the time, sending it spinning at Turn 3.
Following the race, Newman and members of his team went to talk to NASCAR officials, the driver having advised earlier over his radio that he would handle the issue following the conclusion of the race. Montoya and Newman didn't see each other eye to eye post race.
"Obviously, when tempers flare, your mindset kind of goes out the window, but I try to maintain a good mindset," said Newman. "The situation that I was in, ultimately the way it all worked out, it cost us a lot for what we didn't do. That's the toughest part of that whole situation there at Richmond. You know, just getting caught up in a racing situation that in turn turns into something else because of somebody's temper is not acceptable in my eyes.
"We'll move on. It was sad because of the way it affects our team. I'm not worried about anybody else's team, it affects our team, because of somebody losing their temper. The way that is taken out on a team is different than the way it should be taken out on a driver. That's something we'll get addressed."
Montoya and Newman met privately in the NASCAR hauler right before practice started at Darlington on Friday morning. Before that, the Colombian said he felt he needed to address the situation with Newman on the track last week. Officials advised him to avoid further contact during last week's event, but no action was deemed necessary by the sanctioning body after the race.
"It just adds up," Montoya said. "It gets to a point where too much is too much and I felt it had to stop, you know what I mean? I could have done it a lot more aggressively and completely knocked him out of the race, but that wasn't really the plan.
"I just felt he could have given me about an inch and nothing would have happened but over and over and over has been the case. I've been wrecked by him a couple of times. I didn't mind so much that he did it, I minded that at this point we both need the points and I didn't feel I was being treated fair."
Although vowing to put the incident behind, Newman is not sure whether the matter is settled and he still feels unhappy about the outcome last week.
"I don't think once you have an issue it's over in what we do," said Newman. "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.
"...I know he [Montoya] is a really hard racer, he's really physical. There's nothing wrong with that as long as you have an amount of respect. I think the respect went out the window Saturday night at Richmond. I'm not real sure why."
Montoya and Newman have had other on-track exchanges in the past, the first of them back in 2006 when the Colombian's Sprint Cup series debut ended up in flames after Newman crashed into him in the season finale at Homestead, Montoya's Dodge crashing violently against the wall.
"I'll tell you the truth, with Newman it's been since my first Cup race," said Montoya. "In my first Cup race, the guy who wrecked me was him and after that I've been wrecked a couple times more by him. Really never wanted to have a problem with him and it's just a pain in the ass when you are trying to race smart and the give and take, you let everybody by and then you expect people to do the same. It's just unnecessary."
Newman denied that first ever incident with Montoya was an intentional maneuver. Newman had spun earlier in the race while battling for position with Montoya and reminded at the time he would be summoned by NASCAR officials about the incident.
"Scorecard or not, what happened clear back at his first race at Homestead was nearly an accident," said Newman. "I was called to the NASCAR trailer after that to reassure them that it was an accident. He physically cut across my nose going into Turn 1 on a restart.
"I crashed myself before that, so I don't understand where the scorecard actually is. It's not like I turned him around. I spun myself off of Turn 2 at Homestead in whatever year it was. I don't know, number one, who is keeping score, and number two, how they're keeping score, and if it really matters."
Following last week's incidents, Newman lost a place in the standings to drop down to eighth, while Montoya slid from ninth to 12th in the points race.