Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Stewart's personality what NASCAR needs — and fears

NASCAR chairman Brian France and his communications staff have expressed a desire to put diverse driver personalities more in the forefront this season, to pierce the sponsor-driven choir boy facade that has homogenized the free spirits that defined the sport's formative years. The reasoning is simple: The curious become fans by connecting with personalities. NASCAR got exactly what it wanted in this week's edition of Rolling Stone, and likely much more. "Warts and all" hardly covers it. Certainly no one should be surprised that a high-strung, wealthy 37-year-old such as Tony Stewart, above, would indulge himself in everything his money and fame can subsidize. And they shouldn't begrudge that indulgence. It's his choice. But seeing it all splayed in print must have been unsettling for a sanctioning body that espouses family environment more than any other major league. A Parade magazine cover, which came out a few days later, was likely more NASCAR's style.

From the Rolling Stone article:

"The only thing Stewart enjoys more than a race car and a fight, it seems, is women. Over the course of a race weekend, he's approached by dozens of them, each more long-legged, doe-eyed and blond than the last. Inside the NASCAR bubble, these gals are called 'pit lizards,' and they prowl the inner sanctum at tracks throughout the year."

NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said he had not read the article, in which he calls Stewart "an a - - hole at times," and did not return a call for comment.

Triple Crown?

Joey Logano, introduced this week as Stewart's replacement for 2009 in the No. 20 Toyota, can smash Kyle Busch's records for youngest winner in the Sprint Cup series. He already took care of Nationwide. But Logano will need to find himself a truck ride to break that series' standard for precociousness, having skipped that rung in his quick climb to NASCAR's top series.

Youngest winners, NASCAR top three series

Trucks: Kyle Busch, 20 years, 18 days Nationwide: Joey Logano, 18 years, 21 days Sprint Cup: Kyle Busch, 20 years, 126 days

Dixon in control

Scott Dixon, far right, had his points lead cut into when second-place Helio Castroneves, near right, won Sunday at Sonoma, Calif., but the 2003 IndyCar series champion is still in control. Castroneves could bank a maximum of 106 points with wins in the final two races of the season — Sunday at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park and Sept. 7 at Chicagoland Speedway — increasing his season total to 639.

Dixon, who has 576 points, would need 63 points in the final two races, an average of 31½ points per race, which is just less than the 32 points awarded for a fourth-place finish.

Stewart's personality what NASCAR needs — and fears 08/29/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 2, 2008 3:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows "no damage" to hip


    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.
  2. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games


    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.
  3. RHP Alex Cobb feeling safer as Rays make playoff push

    The Heater

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the fourth inning of the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla. on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
  4. HomeTeam 100: Players 61-70


    Jefferson wide receiver Dontavius Smith during the game between Jefferson High School and Jesuit High School at Jesuit on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, in Tampa, Fla.
  5. A second chance at life, away from the game he loved

    The Heater

    Dylan Delso, a catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays' Gulf Coast League team, displays his scar at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. On June 25, 2016 Delso fell backward down a flight of stairs, suffering a nearly fatal head injury that put him in a coma for eight days. He's finally back on the baseball field after a miraculous recovery.