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Tony Stewart finally finds joy in tragic year


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Tony Stewart finally finds joy in tragic year


by Bob Pockrass, SportingNews.com


HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Tony Stewart enjoyed the moment. He hasn’t had many moments of joy over the last 18 months.

A broken leg suffered in a sprint-car racing accident in August 2013 sidelined him for six months, including the final 15 races of the season.


The recovery from that wasn’t easy. But nothing could have prepared him for Aug. 9, 2014, when the sprint car he was racing struck and killed 20-year-old driver Kevin Ward Jr., who had gotten out of his car and approached Stewart on foot.

Missing three races to recover from the grief from the tragedy, Stewart admittedly just went to the racetrack for weeks and didn’t do much outside the racecar.


He let people in charge of his racing business run it, and his Stewart-Haas Racing organization continued a year of mostly frustration with the exception of the performance of Kevin Harvick.


Harvick captured the 2014 Sprint Cup title Sunday by winning the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.


“I'm just glad tonight turned out,” Stewart said. “You know, the rest of it's history. We've talked about it over and over. I'm tired of talking about it to be honest at this point.


“I'm more excited about what this organization and what this group of people has done together. There's a lot of things I would love to change about the last 18 months of my life, but tonight is not one of them.”

It was the second Cup title for SHR, which was formed in 2009 when Stewart was given half of what was then Haas CNC Racing. Stewart won the championship as a driver in 2011.


“I'm going to enjoy this moment, and I'm going to enjoy it with this group and (Harvick),” Stewart said. “We're going to go celebrate and enjoy this because this group of people here have deserved it, and this is a great family and this is a great group of people to lean on.”


Harvick has been one of Stewart’s staunchest supporters.


“There's nothing better than to see your friends smile, and that's really what it's all about,” Harvick said. “I know he's been through a lot this year, but very rarely have we talked about those situations.


“It's just, he's my friend, and I want to see him happy and work through the situations that he has. We're fortunate to be able to work together and have those situations to where we race cars and do the things that we love to do. But in the end, I just want to see him happy.”


Stewart certainly was happy Sunday night.


“It's not about me right now, it's about us as a group,” Stewart said. “It's about everybody at Stewart‑Haas Racing. You learn when you're in these situations that it's about a larger group of people and a bigger picture that's in play.


“I'm grateful that I have a co‑owner (in Gene Haas) and co‑workers and teammates that are such great people that no matter what's been thrown at us the last year and a half, that this organization was able to thrive and continue to prosper and be successful through this.”

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RACING has a way of bringing out the best in you under the worst conditions . just when you think of giving up something inside you just wont let you .i have quit many times this year just wanting to throw the rug down as it was in 2008 ..just could not get the car right after a wreck a miner wreck in respect .. .that something was not letting my son down and the fact i could not live with myself for not giving it all i had and leaving something on the table .lucky not giving up paid off with a 3rd in points with all things considered the car in the last two races starting to get back up front .points and championship is not what we really are about that is just the icing on the cake .but the cake can still taste good dry ... .. tony could have thrown the rug though it would have been harder under ownership and all ..racers has something to prove .some race to win every race and are not happy when they dont ..some race just for fun and dont care where they finish .. and some can except both we can except both aslong as we know we gave it our all we can except defeat by others on the track .just cant except defeating our self .

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