NASCAR star Tony Stewart is probably bigger other places than his hometown here outside San Diego. That’s because racing isn’t a huge sport in the beach side communities. I’ve had many opportunities to meet him at events because he is from the area, but never cared enough to go.
Last Friday, he appeared at a spring car All-Star racing event in Jackson, Minnesota. It was to celebrate “Tony Stewart Night.” What could go wrong, right?
Anyway, he was a celebrity driver for the night celebrating him, but his engine blew after one lap. Now, he’s always been good with fans and autographs, so he stayed to sign for fans and take photos.
Everything went well, until a guy yelled, “F*** you, Tony! You piece of s***! You come here and basically race for one lap and quit, you piece of s***!”
Stewart responded, “I blew my engine, you [insert expletive here]. Do you want to pay for it?”
Well, pay for it, the guy did. Not literally, but...Stewart charged the guy (not for the engine), and threw a punch. He ended up being restrained, but got a few shots in. You can even hear Stewart say in a video (obtained by TMZ of course), that he broke his hand.
News agencies are saying no charges will be filed, and that it was all handled internally, and no formal complaint was even filed.
For those that don’t know, Stewart is known for his temper. Aside from a few brushes with other drivers over the years, one of the more controversial things in racing happened when racer Kevin Ward Jr. got upset, and walked out on the racetrack after Stewart collided with him, in what he felt was intentional. Stewart didn’t move from the track, striking Ward with his car and killing him. No charges were filed in that, as it was deemed an “accident.” And, the Ward family agreed on a settlement from Stewart for a wrongful death last year. So, the guy that merely took a few punches, got off easy. And probably also got a nice settlement.