Stewart lets out rare dose of lurid honesty in Rolling Stone interview
But Tony Stewart recently allowed a reporter from Rolling Stone to follow him around for a while and offered a rare glimpse into how he talks and acts, and it wasn’t all rated PG. Let’s just say that the question of why Tony Stewart isn’t married has been answered.
Among the highlights (and I’ll try to keep it clean):
-- Talk of promiscuity of a level not discussed openly in NASCAR since Tim Richmond’s days, including a joke that Stewart’s parents are worried his genitals are going to fall off.
-- Discussion of “pit lizards” who stroll the garage each week trying to get close to drivers.
-- A healthy dose of swearing, which is nothing new to NASCAR, but usually isn’t displayed publicly (beyond the scanners during a race) and is generally frowned on by the sport
-- Serious trash talking about Kurt Busch, who Tony apparently still can’t stand after their Daytona incident this year
As a journalist, I love the article because it’s one of those rare interview pieces that lets you inside a person’s head. In addition to the lurid parts, it gives the reader a good look at how much Stewart really cares about winning and shows the playful, whimsical side of Tony around his friends that he doesn’t really show to the media very often.
And as someone who’s always applauded Stewart for not being a robot like so many other drivers, I applaud him for being daring enough to fully display his personality and lifestyle (even if it may be a little exaggerated for show) in a prominent magazine article.
But NASCAR -- which still tries to market their sport as family-friendly and full of decent, religious people who do the right thing, a long way from its bootlegger origins -- can’t be happy with this article. They’ve had their issues with Tony in the past, and while I don’t think they can do anything about a magazine article, deep down they probably want to put a muzzle on Tony.
But they can’t, and that’s a great thing. Stewart is moving on to his own team next year, which probably helped motivate him to do the article. Joe Gibbs is known for his religious devotion, and I doubt he’s happy with the words that came out of Stewart’s mouth in this interview. If Stewart wasn’t leaving, I doubt he would have been so candid in this interview.
Stewart is feeling free now that the next chapter in his career is about to start and has no one to answer to now that he’s the boss. I expect Tony to be even more open and honest about his feelings in the coming years, as he won’t have to worry about what Gibbs might say.
Anyway, it’s a good read, so I advise all Tony Stewart lovers and haters to check it out. (adults only, of course).
It may be the only dose of true honesty you get from a NASCAR interview all season.
Look for Carl Edwards to take his third straight victory this Sunday at California. He’s on a hot streak so I’m not going to bet against him. Jimmie Johnson may give him a challenge, but Edwards should come out on top (barring a payback bump from Kyle Busch).
Kasey Kahne and David Ragan are getting desperate, as the Chase is only two races away, so look for them to do everything they can to get strong finishes and try to jump into that top 12. At the same time, people on the Chase bubble will do all they can to protect their positions. Mix that all up and it should be a pretty good race.