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THE QUESTIONS WITH Tony Stewart

Feb. 20, 2006
Feb. 20, 2006

Table of Contents
Feb. 20, 2006

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THE QUESTIONS WITH Tony Stewart

Nextel Cup Champ

What was yourwelcome-to-NASCAR moment?
I was leading my first 125 qualifying race for the Daytona 500 in my rookieyear [1999] when I saw Dale Earnhardt come up behind me. He moved right, thenleft, then poof, he was gone. He blew by me and took the entire field with him.I was like, O.K., here we go. I guess I'm in NASCAR.

This is an article from the Feb. 20, 2006 issue Original Layout

What was yourmost embarrassing moment?
The day I got into it with Kenny Irwin. I reached into his car and smacked athim. It was an idiotic thing to do.

What's onemisconception people have about NASCAR?
They think we show up at the track on Thursday, leave Sunday and get the restof the week off. Wrong. We sometimes work seven days a week, and it's 12 monthsa year. Pretty grueling.

If I ran NASCARfor a day, I'd ...
shorten the schedule. Instead of 36 races, I'd scale it back to 24.

If I weren't inNASCAR, I'd ...
be trying to find a real job, which would suck. I barely graduated high school,so I might not even be able to find a job. Maybe I'd be a cab driver.

LAST WEEK
After taking third at the Budweiser Shootout, Stewart criticized rules thatlead drivers to bump other cars, saying, "We're going to killsomebody."

THIS WEEK
Stewart will drive in Sunday's Daytona 500, at which he finished second in 2004and seventh last year.

PHOTOGEORGE TIEDEMANN/GT IMAGES (STEWART)PHOTOMICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY (STEWART'S CAR)