Less than a week after their altercation following the All-Star Race at Charlotte, Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman (photo above) signed autographs together and talked things over.
“It was fine,” Newman said of their joint autograph session at Bass Pro Shops. “I mean, (we’re) as good as two drivers are after a situation like that. I don’t know that you say that’s good, but it was good that we got a chance to talk.”
Newman and Bowyer sat side-by-side Thursday night when Newman called Bowyer over to his table. The appearance was scheduled before the two made repeated contact on track last Saturday night, followed by Bowyer throwing multiple punches at Newman after the race.
“It was good to kind of clear the air. It is what it is. It’s the past,” Newman added. “Just something you always remember. You learn about somebody in a situation like that.”
Although they didn’t talk much during the autograph session, Newman said the two “cleared the air” in a conversation beforehand.
Both drivers were called to the hauler after the race, but NASCAR penalized neither.
“It was good to have a conversation about it,” said Bowyer. “At the end of the day, there were a lot of things that escalated very fast and obviously got out of hand.
“There’s one thing I can always promise you about something like that, and it is unfortunate, you hate having things like that happen, but that’s probably the best-attended autograph session at Bass Pro Shops that I’ve had in a long, long time. Obviously, I don’t want to do that every weekend, but at the end of the day we all love this sport, and we all are passionate about this sport, and every now and then that passion shows a little brighter than other times.”
Both drivers said the incident is behind them, and Bowyer didn’t seem concerned about retaliation that might be coming.
“I don’t know,” he said. “Hopefully it’s behind us. We both have a little better understanding of how it escalated into that, and you’ve just got to get stuff like that behind you.”
Said Newman, “I try to race everybody the same way and that’s hard because that’s what I get paid to do. I try to give-and-take when I can. The way it works anymore with stage points, especially in the All-Star Race, you don’t give and take. You just take.”