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Why NASCAR Champ Tony Stewart is 'Larger Than Life'



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Post Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:15 pm

Why NASCAR Champ Tony Stewart is 'Larger Than Life'

By Jeff Gluck - Motorsports Editor

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Jul 11, 2012 - When Tony Stewart walks into a room, the atmosphere changes.

This is partially because Stewart likes to sneak up on unsuspecting people and pinch their rear ends or goose them. But mostly, it's because Stewart, more than anyone else, is NASCAR's "Larger Than Life" driver.

No, that's not a joke about Stewart's weight. Rather, the driver/owner of Stewart-Haas Racing often seems like a movie character brought to life.

He's as pure of a racer as they come. His peers tabbed him as NASCAR's most talented driver because he drives anything with four wheels - and usually wins in it. While other drivers spend their off-days lounging by the pool, Stewart hops around the country from one place to another, jumping into a dirt car with no practice and leaving with the checkered flag.

At the same time, his personality is the stuff of legend. He's famously combative with reporters and has little tolerance for stupid or unoriginal questions, but he's also one of NASCAR's most kind-hearted individuals. Many of his charitable acts happen behind the scenes, like lending his personal plane to a family who has suffered a tragedy.

Even after being in the spotlight for years, Stewart remains somewhat of an enigma. Predicting which version of Tony will show up on a given day, hour or minute is more difficult than predicting the weather.

So why is Stewart larger than life and not Dale Earnhardt Jr. (NASCAR's most popular driver) or Jimmie Johnson (the only driver to win five straight championships)?

It's because of the way they carry themselves. Earnhardt Jr. has more fans than Stewart, but he's often quiet and can be somewhat shy. In street clothes, Earnhardt Jr. can blend into a crowd and practically disappear - which is exactly how he likes it. He's been known to park a street car outside the track and walk among the fans after a race, unnoticed, in order to get a leg up on traffic.

And in Johnson's case, his friendly and accessible nature doesn't lend itself to an awe-inspiring presence. When he enters a room, it's more like, 'Hey Jimmie!' than 'Wow, there's Jimmie!' Johnson will be recognized as a legend many years from now, but doesn't have that vibe just yet.

You can tell Stewart is in the room, though, without even turning around. There's sort of a murmur that comes with his arrival - accompanied perhaps by the yelp of a goosing victim – and all eyes are quickly focused on the driver.

Maybe it's because you never know what Stewart is going to do. Maybe it's because of his sharp tongue and acerbic wit. Or maybe it's just because Stewart is a character who is truly larger than life.

http://www.sbnation.com/nascar/2012/7/1 ... mpion-2012

Gluck usually says stupid things about Tony. But I give him his props on this one. Good article.
Cup: 14, 1, 29, 88, 99, 11, 17, 39, 15, 5, 2, 16
NW: 7, 31, 3, 11, 60, 88, 12
Trucks: 9, 88, 3, 7, 17, 31
IRL: 10, 11, 12, 26, 3, 38, 27
RIP Dan Wheldon
"Fight for Four"- Annalee
You got to have a big gigantic drum kit.


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Post Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:49 pm

Re: Why NASCAR Champ Tony Stewart is 'Larger Than Life'

That's our Tony and that is why we love him!! He has a personality and he is not afraid to speak his mind!! 8-)


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Post Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: Why NASCAR Champ Tony Stewart is 'Larger Than Life'

That was a great article! Thanks for posting! It's a dang good thing you find these things or I would be forever clueless! ;)
“I hate to say I'm growing up because it scares me to think I might be but maybe I'm starting to realize there are more things to life than driving a race car.” ~Tony Stewart


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Post Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:50 pm

Re: Why NASCAR Champ Tony Stewart is 'Larger Than Life'

This is a man who can be proper as all get out and then he is just plain Tony. He marches to his own drummer (which he is the drummer) and he doesn't take prisoners or suffer fools. Not everybody can pull this off but Tony is a personality who knows who he is and is not afraid to let anyone see it. Good for him. Not many has that kind of confidence.
The Military Thanks You For Standing Behind Them. If You Can't Do that You Can Always Stand In Front Of Them.....Think About It.....

Thank you to those who took a step forward to save the rest who stand still.


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Post Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:07 am

Re: Why NASCAR Champ Tony Stewart is 'Larger Than Life'

Thanks for posting the article
"This is my house" Tony at the Glen

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Post Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:36 am

Re: Why NASCAR Champ Tony Stewart is 'Larger Than Life'

Thanks for posting, this was a great article. That's what I love about Smoke. Not only can he kick #### on the track, but he speaks his mind and tells it like it is too.

I was browsing through the covers from the NASCAR Illustrated magazine earlier and found this pic which I think suits the article fairly well:


When I grow up, I want to be just like Tony Stewart. The day I race my first Sprint Cup race, I'll know I made it.

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