Tony Stewart Reflects on Last Lap of NASCAR Career: The Coca-Cola Company
Stewart has won at 20 of 23 tracks he has raced on, didn't win at .. 14 Chevrolet and defeated Carl Edwards by seconds to score his fifth win of Stewart willing to sub next year if needed: #Tony Stewart met with. Anthony Wayne Stewart (born May 20, ), nicknamed Smoke, is an American former 14 Chevrolet SS for his own team, Stewart-Haas Racing, under crew chief Mike In , Stewart became the first owner-driver since Alan Kulwicki to win the .. After the Ford , Stewart attended a tearful farewell meeting with Joe. 14 Mobil 1/Chevy Summer Sell Down Chevrolet this weekend, insists, “I'm not going away. I'll be around. I just won't be driving in NASCAR.
He became the leading contender for the series' championship after a bad slump knocked points leader Davey Hamilton out of first place.
He also raced in a few midget events, finishing thirteenth and eleventh in the and USAC national points, and winning the Copper Classic both years. Between his time in USAC and the IRL, Stewart earned the nickname of "Smoke", first for slipping the right rear tire during dirt races and then for blowing his engine often during his championship run. When Stewart was able to finish races, he finished in the top 10, and had a 3rd-place finish at Charlotte.
Stewart so impressed Gibbs that he was signed to drive the majority of the Busch schedule in to go along with a full-time IRL schedule.
The double duty did not affect his performance in either series. In the IRL, he won twice and finished 3rd in the championship. His season was a disappointment as he finished last in the Indy because of an engine failure. On the Busch side, he finished in the top-five five times in 22 starts.
He came close to winning his first Busch Series race at Rockinghambut was beaten on a last lap pass by Matt Kenseth. Stewart finished a solid 2nd place in 2 of 31 starts, ahead of six drivers with more starts, and had an average finish that was comparable to some of the series' top 10 finishers.
Gibbs had enough confidence in Stewart that he was moved up to a Sprint Cup ride for the season. With that move, Stewart ended his three-year career as a full-time IRL driver. He showed courage in one of the Gatorade Twin swhen he was involved in a battle with Dale Earnhardt for the lead in the last laps. Though Earnhardt came out on top, Stewart had nonetheless impressed quite a few people with his performance. In theStewart ran near the front until problems with the car relegated him to a 28th-place finish.
Stewart spent most of his rookie season wowing people, as his car was often in the Top 5. He won a pair of pole positions at short tracksand set a series record for wins by a rookie with three—Richmond, Phoenix, and Homestead—surpassing Davey Allison 's record set in  Stewart's record would hold untilwhen Jimmie Johnson tied the feat by winning three times; although Carl Edwards won four times inhis first full Cup season, he was not regarded as a rookie by NASCAR standards because he had run more than ten Nextel Cup races in He finished his first Cup season with a 4th-place finish in the points, making it the highest points finish by a rookie in the modern era which held until when his future teammate Denny Hamlin finished 3rd and only bested by James Hyltonwho finished 2nd as a first-timer in He finished in the Top 10 at both races: However, he fell to 6th place in the standings because of a handful of DNFs and an increase in the number of competitive drivers, among them his teammate Labonte, who won the Cup championship.
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- Transcript: Tony Stewart, Gene Haas discuss NASCAR move to Ford Performance
Stewart also began to get some bad press for his on-track incidents. The best known of these came at Watkins Glenwhen he and Jeff Gordon tangled and crashed.
Stewart made his displeasure toward Gordon known in an obscenity-laden tirade. Stewart took the worst of it, as his car turned backwards after being hit by Ward Burton, pushed over Robby Gordon, then flipped twice in midair, hooked Bobby Labonte's hood, and came to a stop in the infield. Stewart was transported to Halifax Medical Center after complaints of discomfort in his shoulder.
Stewart's crash was greatly overshadowed by Dale Earnhardt 's fatal crash on the last lap. Stewart recovered to win three more races at Richmond, Infineon, and Bristol and, as he had done before, he ran near the front most of the season. Statistically, he had a worse season thanbut he finished 2nd to Gordon in the final points standings. For the second time, Stewart ran the " Memorial Day Double ", in spite of a minute rain delay at Indianapolis.
Jeff Gordon pulled a " bump and run " on Stewart to gain a better finishing position at Bristol and Stewart retaliated in a post-race incident by spinning Gordon out on pit road. He got into much bigger trouble in the Pepsi at Daytonawhere he confronted a Winston Cup official after ignoring a black flagwhich he had received for an illegal pass on Dave Blaney.
In the same race, he had an incident with a reporterin which away he kicked a tape recorder. He confronted that same official during the Talladega race after he refused to wear a mandated head-and-neck restraint. Stewart was not allowed to practice until he wore one, and only managed to do so after his crew chief Greg Zipadelli intervened. Stewart's fines and periods of probation resulting from these incidents have earned him a reputation of having a hot-temper, and he became known as NASCAR's "bad boy".
He went on to win twice early in the season at Atlanta and Richmond, but he was only seventh in the points standings at the season's halfway point. At Darlington, Stewart was involved in a multi-car wreck in which one vehicle t-boned Stewart's car. While Stewart was sent to the hospital following the crash, he was able the start the next race at Bristol. Due to the injuries sustained at Darlington, he was relieved during the race by Todd Bodine.
The second half of his season was plagued by an altercation with a photographer after the Brickyard However, despite the controversy, he went on to win the very next week at Watkins Glen. Strangely enough, this race also ended in controversy, when it was revealed that he had jumped the restart and, despite the infraction, officials upheld Stewart's win. Stewart went on a hot streak in the final races, consistently finishing in the Top 5.
At the end of the season, Stewart held off a charging Mark Martin to win his first Winston Cup championship. This was Stewart's last season driving in a Pontiac. Joe Gibbs Racing changed manufacturers, so he and Labonte were now driving Chevrolets instead of Pontiacs. Stewart had his worst Cup season at this point up untilbut it was still good enough for seventh in the points standings.
He only won two races that season at Pocono and Charlotte but he led more laps than he did last year and was highly competitive in the final races of the season.
The result does not show the trio's performance, however. They had dominated the race until the last two hours, when the suspension cracked. With 15 minutes left in the race and Stewart driving, one of the rear wheels came off, finally ending their run. In addition to placing fourth overall, the trio placed third in the Daytona Prototype class.
Stewart started off on a higher note in the season as he finished second in the Gatorade In the Daytonahe and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Stewart was in contention to win it, only to lose the lead to Earnhardt Jr. That would be Stewart's best finish in the Daytona At Infineon, Stewart was involved in an altercation with second-year driver Brian Vickers.
On lap 88 ofStewart got spun out by Vickers as retaliation for an earlier collision in the race. Stewart replied by confronting Vickers after the race and throwing a punch through Vickers' window. The season was highlighted with Stewart's first win coming at Chicagoland. This win was not without controversy as on a mid-race restart, he turned Kasey Kahne into the wall, which eventually led to an altercation between his and Kahne's pit crews.
Stewart felt very sick during the race at Watkins Glen International and nearly withdrew from it due to food poisoning, stomach cramps, a headache, and a sinus infection. He ultimately relented and ran the race, dominating and holding off Canadian road ringer Ron Fellows for the win. However, an incident at the first race of The Chase at Loudon ended his hopes of a second Cup championship. Stewart got collected in a multi-car crash, which started when Robby Gordon repaid Greg Biffle some retaliation, and Stewart t-boned Biffle.
Stewart had to make repairs and lost three laps. He finished two laps down, causing him to lose his shot at his second championship. After losing his bid for the championship title, Stewart finished sixth in the Nextel Cup point standings. In NovemberStewart became the owner of one of the most legendary short tracks in America, Eldora Speedway. He won five races at Infineon, Daytona, New Hampshire, Watkins Glen which gave him a sweep of the road course races for the year and Indianapolis, his hometown track in a race that Stewart said he would give up his championship to win, and took with it the No.
Stewart was driving a Busch series car owned by Kevin Harvick Incorporated at the time. Stewart also was placed on probation until December Stewart's Allstate at the Brickyard winning car on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway museum. It also led to sponsor The Home Depot cashing in on Stewart's success with some promotions reminiscent of Stewart's Eldora Speedway drivers.
After his second full climb of the fence in Loudon, N. After his victory in Indianapolis, The Home Depot presented fans who presented the advertisement of his Allstate win with a discount on purchasing bricks. He mentioned in a press release from his sponsor, "I plan to keep winning races and helping to drive down the cost of home improvement for The Home Depot customers. Jimmie Johnson afterward did so from to In victory circle, Stewart had said that he loved winning his championship better than his one because his season was more well-behaved than At an age of 34, this made Stewart one of the youngest drivers to win multiple championships with Johnson joining this category as he won his five straight titles while in his early 30s and to date, he is still the only driver to have won championships under both the Chase and non-Chase formats.
He had competitive cars and scored early wins at Daytona and Martinsville. However he also had strings of bad luck. He also suffered a shoulder injury due to two heavy crashes in both the Busch and Cup races at Charlotte during the Memorial Day Weekend races Stewart's Busch car hit the Turn 4 wall so hard it even knocked the rear end off the car.
During the Dover race, he was substituted by Ricky Rudd and, in later weeks, had to drive in pain. Additionally he has once again been involved in several on track controversies. Following a rough Bud Shootout on February 12, Stewart expressed concern to the media about the possibility of aggressive driving resulting in the serious injury or death of a driver. It came during a week in which the racing world remembered the fifth anniversary of Dale Earnhardt's death.
Just a few days later, during the DaytonaStewart was involved in a number of incidents with Jeff GordonKyle Buschand Matt Kensethwhom he chased halfway across the track to run into the grass. Each driver claimed it was the other one's fault with Stewart saying, "if Kenseth thinks it's my fault and I caused the wreck he's screwed up in his head. On July 1,Stewart dominated the Pepsi but after a pit stop seemed like an unlikely contender for the win. However Stewart amazed the audience when in the final 10 laps he drove from 14th up to second place, and passed Boris Said to take the lead and win.
After the race Stewart said he no longer wanted to climb the catch-fencing at Daytona because of the fans crowding him but he later changed his mind on that thought. Foyt who raced the 14 throughout his versatile career.
He certainly earned a lot of recognition for all that he accomplished, and as an industry we felt it was important to honor him," said Mike Helton, vice chairman, NASCAR. On behalf of the entire motorsports industry, we felt this collective donation in Tony's name was a fitting tribute to all that he's accomplished during his NASCAR career. Inhe formed his own charitable foundation. Known simply as the Tony Stewart Foundationthe c 3 organization's goal is to raise funds primarily distributed to serving three specific groups - chronically ill and physically disabled children, animals that are endangered or at-risk, and drivers injured in the sport of motor racing.
Stewart's work on behalf of the foundation crossed paths with his love for music earlier this year when he met Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder. The two discussed their work in racing and in music, respectively, before the conversation dovetailed into their mutual commitment to charity. And when you realize it also affects the internal organs, you see it as diabolical.
It's very hard to describe until you meet the young folks with it, and they make you realize how much you take for granted. You also realize that these are some of the strongest, coolest, most admirable people on the face of the Earth. Children fighting EB have a perseverance and strength that is unworldly, and it has resonated with Stewart.
It puts your life and the things you take for granted in perspective. But it also makes you mad, because this is a devastating disorder that no one should have to endure. Yet it exists, and after seeing it, you want to do anything you can to make it go away. He never sought accolades for his work, but his charitable efforts have been noticed nonetheless.
InStewart again was a finalist for the NMPA Humanitarian award, becoming the only person to ever be nominated in back-to-back years. And inStewart earned the prestigious NMPA Myers Brothers award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing.
It's only appropriate that we, as an industry, can contribute to Tony's philanthropic endeavors. Tony Stewart has long had an admiration for A. Foyt sat next to Stewart and the two told a handful of stories -- in a playful back-and-forth banter -- while the rest of the drivers listened on.
Tony Stewart said his racing schedule is coming together, announcing two dates and hinting at other possibilities. I had a conversation with a car owner about possibly running this year's Rolex 24 at Daytona. There's a lot of cool stuff and the fun part is kind of not exactly knowing yet what we're going to do.
I do have some races that are confirmed and scheduled. One of them is going to be at Texas Motor Speedway in April; we're going to run two nights with the sprint car at the Texas Motor Speedway dirt track. That's one I'm really looking forward to. As we start filling in the schedule, we'll start letting everybody know for sure. It's going to be full, I guarantee you. Stewart and co-host Matt Yocum will broadcast live from Charlotte, where they will look back at Smoke's year career behind the wheel in NASCAR's premier series and discuss what lies ahead for him in motorsports.
Listeners will be invited to call in to the show to talk live with Smoke and Yocum and share their memories of Stewart's career. Tony and Matt are also scheduled to be joined live on air during the show by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Throughout the program, listeners will also hear messages from several prominent guests who share their memories from various times in Smoke's career, from his rookie year through his three championship seasons.
Stewart missed the final 15 races of the season, three races in and the first eight races in His average start is Only one other driver has won back-to-back races at Homestead - Greg Biffle won three in a row from to And his win in came from the 13th starting position - the fourth-farthest back a driver has ever won from at Homestead. Stewart, Greg Biffle and Denny Hamlin are the only other drivers to have won at Homestead from outside the top Biffle won the race after starting 22nd and Hamlin won the race after starting 38th.
He led four times for 65 laps in the No. Incredibly, Stewart passed cars during the lap race. He and Edwards both ended the season with 2, points, but Stewart's five wins in compared to Edwards' one win gave Stewart the tiebreaker advantage. The transcript in part: I was like 'well that kind of brought it right back to my mind.
That was probably the biggest thing that was disappointing last night when I realized my phone was stolen was the fact that I was in the process of answering text messages from people. I got a flood of text messages yesterday and I think I'm going to have a phone by tomorrow.NASCAR Tony Stewart Documentary: Smoke
So, I'm sure when I turn it on it's going to be absolutely crazy when I turn it back on. People I haven't talked to for a long time, people that are friends that I haven't seen or heard of from a long time reached out this week and it's been pretty cool.
Nothing in particular really struck a nerve, but it's just the overall support from everybody was really awesome. This is the last one. I think I learned my lesson from Jeff Gordon. Jeff tried to do somebody a favor this year and got roped into running half the season laughs.
Thank you Jeff for teaching me a lesson before I got roped into it. So, no, I'm not planning on that at all. We are going to be busy. In all honesty and I don't have a schedule set next year, but I just know the things that I'm planning, my schedule next year is going to be much busier than it already is this year. There is just not going to be room for it.
We saw some carnival deal, so we stopped and it was about the close, but we went back to it last night on our way back to here.
We were just getting ready to leave and I realized it wasn't in my pocket. I had her phone, my phone and a couple of other things I was holding for her. When I was checking to see where it was at it was not there anymore. We had bumped into some people right before that and I'm fairly certain that is when it decided it went a different direction, but it was kind of fun because they have that Find My iPhone app.
We went chasing people forever trying to find it. Until we realized they were in the parking lot and they got in the car and they were gone. I hit block on it and deleted it and now I've got to get a new phone, which is devastating because I do everything off of my cell phone.
My life is on that cell phone, so I start my life over tomorrow laughs. But save the tears, race fans. He isn't done driving and he isn't going away. I'll just have more time. If I see Richard Petty or anyone else in the garage, I can go over and talk to him now and not have to worry about getting to the car or trying to figure out how to make my car go faster.
Transcript of Tony Stewart talking about NASCAR move from Chevy to Ford
The strategy has worked as Stewart has returned to the front of the field, logging five top-five and eight top finishes in The highlight came in June, when Stewart made a last-lap pass of Denny Hamlin at Sonoma Raceway to claim his 49th career victory that ultimately led to a berth in the Chase, where Stewart fell a few points short of advancing to the Round of He'd like nothing more than to close his season, as well as his career, with a strong run Sunday on the high-banked turns at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
He won the first two Sprint Cup races at the South Florida track in andthen visited victory lane again inwhen he won a thrilling duel with Carl Edwards. The victory left Edwards and Stewart tied in points, with Stewart winning his third Sprint Cup title based on a tiebreaker.
In 16 career starts at the 1. He's completed 4, of a possible 4, laps at the track. The full list of Stewart's assault on the NASCAR record book is a long one but, when he climbs from the 14 Sunday, he'll do so as the 13th-winningest driver with his 49 wins.
His race wins include: See an image of the scheme on the 14 Team Schemes page. Stewart's average finish in 27 Cup races at the Avondale oval is 14th, with one win and 12 tops. Arizona Republic Harvick not happy with lack of Stewart 'credit': That has been very disappointing from my standpoint. I know that Tony probably would say that he didn't want that but I don't think anybody has done a very good job of giving him the credit for the time that he has put in and had in the sport.
A three-time champion, multiple race winner, IndyCar champion and winner and to auto racing in general. It's been pretty disheartening to me to see the lack of credit that he has gotten. Stewart has appeared in Columbus parades before - the most recent one five years ago to the day.
Stewart-Haas Racing has signed a six-figure value-in-kind deal with Nike to outfit the team starting next season, when SHR switches manufacturers from Chevy to Ford. SHR did not previously have a sole apparel manufacturer and instead had different brands worn by team members. However, because of the switch to Ford, SHR will have to get all new apparel since Chevy's logo is on its current gear, and the team decided the time was right to go out and find one official partner.
Nike will outfit the organization with various forms of apparel, and in return gets the exposure from the gear being worn publicly, plus signage on SHR's pit practice facility and weight room. The new logo is not ready to be released, but Verlander said it will be a small change. SHR currently has a light blue logo, so switching to a darker shade to align with Ford's darker-blue logo is a possibility.
Sports Business Daily Final restrictor plate for Stewart: Tony Stewart might not be the biggest fan of restrictor-plate racing in NASCAR, but there are few drivers like Stewart who can say they've led almost 1, laps or logged more than 30, miles in their careers on the mph, high-banked tracks at Daytona and Talladega.
In Sunday's Hellman's at the 2. He's led laps and logged 30, District Judge Mae A. Drivers will be allowed to return to competition with payment of the fine and fees imposed, following a request for reinstatement of their suspended DIRTcar membership. Motorsports, LLC, filed a voluntary motion for dismissal on Monday.
One of the biggest stories of the NASCAR season played out early in the year with the announcement that Stewart-Haas Racing would switch from Chevrolet to Ford in - a move that caught most everyone off-guard. Now, with the season winding down, the countdown is on for that switch to become a reality and Roush Yates Engines is working behind the scenes to ensure it is up to the task of putting power under the SHR hoods.
And then acquiring the inventory, a lot of the parts in these engines require long lead-times. There are three, four, five or six months of lead time on these items, so we're trying to get the hard parts together and just prepare as much as possible for when it is go-time. He said they have received a lot of interest from engine experts looking to fill the void and that have led to numerous applications and resumes. He said management is poring over stats to determine how much the workload will increase to be ready for Jimmie Johnson described a less-than-ideal working relationship between Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing on Friday, prompting his team general manager to clarify how the teams shared information.
Stewart-Haas has gotten its Chevrolet engines and chassis from Hendrick Motorsports since it began inbut that relationship is poised to end. Stewart-Haas announced this year it would be switching to Roush Yates Engines that power Ford teams for next season. Johnson was asked before practice for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Kansas whether he would like his team to find another partner to replace Stewart-Haas racing next season.
We didn't share their data. So it was a fantastic situation for them. They had our best stuff and then they have a huge engineering staff and they can take Hendrick's best equipment and refine it. It also prompted Hendrick Motorsports general manager Doug Duchardt to climb out of Johnson's hauler a few hours later and clarify the relationship.
The teams did share information with each other before Stewart-Haas announced its decision to leave, at which point communication was largely cut off. When they made their announcement with Ford that changed things.
But the bottom line is that as partners we exchanged data. Where are you at competitively? How do you feel about where you are going next year and where you are at now? You better be this time of year no matter if you are moving or staying the same and nothing changes. That is how far in advance you have to look in this sport and work.
All the organizations are lining themselves us and gearing up for next year, all the while, there is a lot of racing left to do in Last weekend is a prime example. I look over and I see all the Stewart-Haas cars up front, qualified well, Danica Patrick was fast, all the cars raced well. Those are the things that you look at and get excited for next year. But, hey, you've got an opportunity to come back home and race and compete in front of your hometown crowd, like I said, there is plenty of racing to do and things to accomplish this year.
We've got to cap it off well and start to get focused on next year. You get emails, like I was telling somebody last night, an email came across my phone and I look over and its 14 merchandise approvals for next year. You are like 'holy cow' it's becoming reality.
It's fixing to pick up in a big way. However, the savings are likely to be redeployed toward activation around the program, and SHR already has a partner lined up to fill the open inventory.
Nature's Bakery, the Nevada-based healthy snack maker that signed on last year to replace longtime Danica Patrick sponsor GoDaddy starting this season, was announced as having 28 primary paint schemes annually on Patrick's 10 Chevy. Her other primary sponsors, Aspen Dental and TaxAct, both have four primaries each. Verlander said Nature's Bakery is looking at going down by around three races next year because "28 to 25 doesn't really affect their proportionality of owning the lead sponsor role," which Nature's Bakery is intent on retaining.
Sports Business Daily Stewart trial not likely until next summer: With some depositions -- including that of Tony Stewart -- still to be taken, any trial in the wrongful death case brought by the parents of Kevin Ward Jr.
The deadline for motions asking the judge to rule on the case before trial was pushed from Feb. At the same time, the Mobil 1 brand will remain an associate sponsor for all SHR drivers at all other races. The company has been providing lubricant technology support to the team sincewhich helped Stewart and Harvick earn premier series championships for SHR in andrespectively.
Finishing this year and going intowe're ready to add more wins and titles to the collection," said Kai Decker, global motorsports manager at ExxonMobil. The season continues a collaborative engineering relationship used to develop lubricant packages and push technology limits to new frontiers.
This relationship helps the SHR team win races and ExxonMobil continue to improve the performance of Mobil 1 branded lubricants with improved power, fuel mileage, engine efficiency and reliability. Tony Stewart will introduce a new corporate partner on the deck lid of the 14 Chevy at Charlotte in Rev The Vote - a non-partisan organization whose mission is to increase voter registration among the millions of unregistered motorsports fans in the United States. The 14 will be decked out in Mobil 1 colors, which will be featured on the hood.
Stewart has several goals for the final seven races of his career. Foundation charity ride-along event. The event raises "quite a bit of money," Junior said in a video posted to Twitter. Never fear, 'Smoke' is here. Tony Stewart's 14 car will have a different look this weekend on the Delaware concrete high banks. It will carry the all-brown, Nature's Bakery Double Chocolate Brownies paint scheme for the first time this season.
Stewart-Haas Racingsee an image of the car on the 14 team paint schemes page. Tony Stewart admits he faces "a very steep, uphill battle" to avoid elimination Sunday from the Chase for the Sprint Cup at Dover International Speedway. But he also readily admits that there's only so much he can do, and the frustration that the driver plays only so much -- or so little -- of a role in a sport that has become increasingly reliant on engineering is one of the reasons he will retire from Cup racing after this season.
That is part of why I'm ready to do something different is because I can't make a difference anymore.
I can't do different things with my feet and different things with my hands and run a different line and fix the problem. I used to be able to do that. I can't do that anymore. You just get so frustrated you can't see straight. Stewart said "I've had my fill of fighting the fight" as the driver to draw attention to issues of the way the sport operates. He will have to wait until February to race because he will have the screws taken out of his back in December.
He said his first race next year will be on pavement and will be in someone else's equipment but he wouldn't reveal more than that.