No athlete has ever made it to the top without the help of his fans. Tony Stewart is no exception.
Unfortunately, he’s forgotten that.
Most NASCAR drivers will take the time out of their hectic schedule to pose for pictures and sign autographs for fans. While it may not be a huge deal for the drivers, as a fan, the fact that those guys are willing to take the time for you can really make you feel good. Guys like Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, and Clint Bowyer are more than willing to spend a moment or two with the fans of the sport.
Sadly, one of NASCAR’s biggest stars doesn’t do that. 2-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart has calmed down in the public eye, but when the cameras are turned off, it’s the same ol’ Tony.
I have had the chance to see Tony in person twice, and both times, he snubbed both myself and the small crowd of die-hard fans around me. When I say small, I mean about 10 or 15 people who aren’t being pushy, but are simply asking nicely if Tony will take just 2 minutes out of his schedule to pose for a picture or sign an autograph.
Such a small gesture could make someone’s life complete. Believe me, I know. But it’s just not worth Tony’s time.
I’ve heard other stories like mine. Several fans have had trouble getting Tony to take any time with them. I’ve even heard many horror stories about how Tony has cussed at children before, telling them to “Eff off” when they ask politely for his autograph.
I know he’s a champion in a major sport, but that does not give him the right to be like that. Darrell Waltrip is a three-time champion, and he’s the most awesome guy you could ever meet. Ricky Carmichael has won several AMA Supercross championships, and he’s as affable as the next guy. Indianapolis 500 champion Sam Hornish Jr. is awesome, and Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman is more than happy to take the time to please a few fans.
But Tony Stewart? Uh-uh.
It’s sad, really. I’d like to be able to cheer for Stewart. He seems like a decent guy on camera. But when the cameras are turned off, the fans are like dirt to him. Unfortunately, guys like Kevin Harvick and Jamie McMurray, believe it or not, are of the same mindset, just not to that extent. God created all men to be equal. But sadly, Tony Stewart doesn’t see things that way.
Tony Stewart should be nicer to his fans.