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Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Stewart likely to be let off hook; Montoya under review

By David Newton
ESPN.com

CHARLOTTE -- Tony Stewart is not expected to be fined for skipping the post-race press conference last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, but Juan Pablo Montoya may be for an obscene gesture made on camera prior to a Busch Series practice.

NASCAR officials are reviewing whether to penalize the former Formula One star who made the gesture at a cameraman following him from Nextel Cup qualifying to the Busch garage for practice.

According to officials at Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Montoya thought the cameraman was a person who has been shadowing him as part of a documentary for more than a month and that the gesture was all in fun.

There is nothing in the NASCAR by-laws differentiating between using an obscene gesture or word in fun or anger.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was docked 25 driver points and fined $10,000 in 2004 for using an inappropriate word on live television after a win at Talladega.

Meanwhile, NASCAR officials plan to speak with Stewart and remind him of his post-race responsibilities. Stewart left the Phoenix track without fulfilling his media obligations because he was upset with a second-place finish.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.