(In light of Tony’s retirement announcement, I have decided to open up BadGroove to Tony Stewart fans who want to tell their stories about Tony. It can be anything- your thoughts on his retirement, what he’s meant to you, a specific experience you had meeting Tony, anything really that YOU want to say in your own words.– Amy)
When I look back at Tony’s career I see a man who throughout his life has just wanted to race. Growing up he could never have imagined the success he would have or the sacrifices he would have to make in order to get there.
While the rewards are tremendous for someone of Tony’s talents and abilities, the sacrifices are also too numerous to list thoroughly. Sacrifices such as giving up his free time and privacy, being hounded and stalked by fans who don’t understand the responsibilities and commitments he has every day of the year come at a high cost, a cost that none of us can really understand.
Tony has had to learn (sometimes the hard way) to live in the world of NASCAR while still trying to be true to himself and his beliefs because all he has ever wanted to do is race and win.
NASCAR has given Tony a lifestyle he could never have imagined and probably wouldn’t trade for the world. It has given him the ability to build a beautiful home where he can sometimes escape the hectic lifestyle and recharge his batteries (although admittedly not frequently enough), fund and support so many worthwhile charities and be a co-owner to one of the most successful NASCAR teams today.
Living in the public life is not and can never be easy. I admire the way that Tony has handled his role as a NASCAR star yet still be Tony the kid from Columbus Indiana who still wants to have some semblance of a normal life. A life that includes relaxing, fishing, partying with friends and family.
We as fans can honor him throughout the remainder of this year by supporting him at the races, the Tony Stewart Foundation and all the other drivers at Stewart Haas Racing.
When he hangs up his helmet for the last time at Homestead in 2016 the fans will be sad, NASCAR will never be the same, but take heart Tony will still be at the track as co-owner of Stewart Hass Racing and the achievements of Anthony Wayne Stewart will be forever remembered.
Thank you Tony for all the wonderful memories.
Thank you Maureen for sharing a great piece on what Tony Stewart’s career has meant to you! If you would like to submit your own piece for Smoke In My Eyes – please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org