NASCAR will not punish Stewart for profanity during practice session

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Tony Stewart will not be penalized for uttering an obscenity Saturday morning during the ESPN2 telecast of the Nextel Cup practice session, NASCAR officials confirmed Sunday at Kansas Speedway.

"It's unfortunate, but there's a lot of other noise when you see the tape," said Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president of corporate communications. "If you run it over and over, you get it. But if our viewers and ESPN's viewers are sitting at home watching it, there's a chance they might not have heard that."

Stewart was talking to driver Robby Gordon on pit road before walking toward two ESPN camera operators. Stewart looked at one camera operator and said: "What? Get the [expletive] away from me."

Hunter said the decision not to penalize Stewart is in line with similar decisions when drivers said an obscenity outside a formal interview session.

"That's our position," Hunter said. "It wasn't an interview. But we certainly have had some conversations with Tony. The truth is we don't want anyone to hear language like that."

JD Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart's boss, said he hadn't seen a videotape on the incident, but he feels Stewart should become more cautious.

"I would say it's kind of a gray area," Gibbs said Sunday. "But for us, you want to conduct yourself in way to do the right things, no matter where you are and what the situation is."

Terry Blount and Angelique Chengelis cover NASCAR for ESPN.com.