DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch were ordered to steer clear of each other Saturday in hopes of preventing a repeat of their high-octane confrontation during the first day of Speedweeks.
NASCAR officials summoned Stewart and Busch for a follow-up meeting Saturday, a day after the two drivers tangled on the track and possibly in the NASCAR officials' trailer afterward. The entire garage was buzzing over Stewart allegedly punching Busch, a claim no one would confirm or deny.
NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said officials have not decided whether to penalize either driver, but delivered a stern warning.
"You two guys better give each other plenty of space," Hunter said. "You clearly understand where we are with this and we're going to continue to think about it."
Hunter said any resulting penalties would be announced Monday or Tuesday.
Busch and Stewart, former series champions with a history of clashing on the track, crashed during the final practice session Friday night.
Busch attempted to block Stewart and got hit from behind, damaging both cars. Busch retaliated by slamming into the side of Stewart's car twice as they drove back toward the garage. Stewart then used his car to block Busch from exiting the track.
Both drivers were immediately told to meet with NASCAR officials. And that's where the details get a little sketchy. Talk spread throughout the garage Saturday that Stewart and Busch continued to bicker once inside the closed-door meeting. It was widely believed Busch insulted Stewart, who then took a swing at him.
NASCAR officials at the meeting refused to comment. NASCAR president Mike Helton said: "I wasn't in there."
Stewart's car owner, Joe Gibbs, flew in for the second meeting and also refused to comment on the specifics of the confrontation.
"Anything that happens in there, stays in there," said Joe Gibbs, Stewart's team owner.