NASCAR has warned Juan Pablo Montoya and Ryan Newman (LEFT) about taking their conflict further, with their meeting with officials at Darlington having failed to settle their feud.
Montoya and Newman had an on-track altercation last week at Richmond, ignited by initial contact while battling for a top-10 position which resulted in massive damage to the Chevrolet of the Earnhardt Ganassi driver, while Newman's car was relatively unscathed. Montoya later retaliated, spinning the Stewart Haas driver out of contention for a good finish.
Before practice started at Darlington on Friday, both drivers met behind closed doors in the NASCAR hauler in an attempt to settle their differences, but according to the sanctioning body's spokesperson, the meeting did not resolve the issue. NASCAR has advised both drivers about taking the feud beyond what took place at Richmond last week.
"NASCAR did meet with Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya today before the first Sprint Cup Series practice," NASCAR's Kerry Tharp said in a statement. "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."
Asked about the meeting, Newman admitted his view and Montoya's still differed, although he vowed to put the feud behind him.
"When you have conflict there's a lack of respect, that's a given. It's just a matter of getting through it," said Newman. "Neither of us want to cost each other points, neither of us want to make any more conflict. It's just a matter of going forward and having a little more respect for each other on the racetrack, I guess.
"He's got a different opinion than I do and that's the bottom line. We'll try to make the best of the future."
Montoya declined to comment on details of what took place during the meeting when asked by reporters, while Newman denied their feud turned physical.
Newman will start Saturday's race from the front row of the grid while Montoya will see the green flag wave from 16th place.