Picture if you will, an extremely busy Monday morning and I am sitting in my office doing my thing. My coworker sticks his head in my office to say hello and discuss some work matters. Then, just as he was about to go on his way he says it. “So what’s this I hear about Tony Stewart?”
I knew it was just a matter of time that someone approached me at work. Anyone who passes by my office can tell that I am a stalwart Tony Stewart fan. It may as well be tattooed across my forehead, for I very proudly display my driver of preference in my office. There are hero cards, cars, burger king toys, calendar, oh and the cardboard standee in the corner that is taller than I am. I wear my Tony Stewart fandom on my sleeve, the way most NASCAR fans wear theirs for their driver of preference.
So I clenched my jaw, took a breath, and tried (successfully) not to roll my eyes. This is not the first time I’ve caught hell for being a Stewart fan and I am sure it won’t be the last. I was trying to decide on a way to reply when my coworker stopped me with “Yeah, I heard he went to Australia for a fight and a race broke out.” Oh how I chuckled heartily. Come on…it’s a little funny right? It couldn’t have just been my frenzied Monday playing tricks on me!
So, I guess it’s time to talk about the purple elephant that’s been sitting on the corner of the blog. The one I have avoided for over a week now. As you have probably heard by now, Tony Stewart went on a month long vacation to Australia that included some racing at Australian dirt tracks. While there he was involved in a physical altercation with one of the co-owners of a track. Australian police were involved.
On Thursday of last week, right out of the gate at the Daytona test session, Tony answered media questions about the altercation. He was honest and upfront about the situation and you can read about it word for word straight from Stewart’s mouth. I watched the press conference and the transcription is dead on.
I don’t have anything new or exciting to add to the mix. There are a ton of articles and blog posts out there either touting Tony as a terrible, out-of-control rageaholic for his part in the altercation or lauding the return of “old fiery Tony” all hail. I don’t think this issue is entirely black and white; it’s more of a muddled grey mess and Tony/NASCAR fans may never know the full details. I don’t have any answers and I sure as hell am not going to speculate. Maybe it’s just better to let this fade away into the excitement of the new season that is nearly upon us, at least for now.
Regular readers know that I’ve had the chance to interview Tony twice last season for BadGroove.com and both were completely awesome experiences. At no time during either of those interviews did I see power cords sticking out from the man- he’s human. He stated in his media session that he wasn’t proud of what happened, I believe he even said he was embarrassed. To paraphrase Tony himself; he went on a vacation to Australia for thirty days and had one bad night.