DOB: May 20, 1971
Hometown: Columbus, Ind.
Tony Stewart has raced just about everything there is to race, but you’re here to read about NASCAR, so we’ll just dispense with naming off all the racing series with indecipherable initials in which he has competed and stick to the big leagues.
Stewart has collected 35 wins and two championships since joining the Sprint Cup in 1999, but his infamous temper has brought him almost as much recognition as his prowess on the track. And that’s what you’re here to read about, isn’t it?
It would be far easier to tell you which drivers Stewart has not exchanged words or paint with, but that would be cheating. (It’s Red Byron). Ahem. Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Clint Boyer, Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon, just to name a few. Did we mention Jeff Gordon? And those are just the other drivers that have been on the receiving end of Stewart’s tantrums. He’s also gone after a perfectly innocent tape recorder, numerous bowls of chili and most recently– Billy Bad-Butt.
Not only can Stewart be verbally and physically combative, but he is also extremely outspoken. One remark in particular pissed off an entire state. During a 2002 interview with FHM, he was asked which track had the most obnoxious fans. "Talladega. No brainer… it’s in Alabama. Enough said," was his response. Stewart later said that he was misquoted and apologized. The fans accepted his apology and made a conscious effort to be non-obnoxious… for two years. Stewart’s words rang prophetic in 2004 when Talladega fans pelted the winning car of Jeff Gordon with empty beer cans, hot dog wrappers and small animals.
But don't go thinking Stewart is a humorless hothead, because he's got an entertaining side as well. After his second win of 2005, Tony began climbing the catch fence after each victory and later said that he was "too damn fat to be climbing fences." Sponsor Home Depot reacted to his quip with an ad campaign entitled "Hey Tony, we've got ladders" where every customer got a discount if they presented the ad at the cash register.
Tony shook the racing world in 2008 when he announced that he would be fielding his own Sprint Cup car in 2009 as an owner/driver. There hadn't been a successful owner/driver in the series since Ricky Rudd won a Cup race in 1998, so many thought the move would be the end of Stewart as a competitor. Instead, he surprised everyone by snagging the points lead in May 2009 and scoring his first win as an owner driver with a victory at Pocono in June and another at Daytona in July.
Stewart is still single, but he has been seen with quite a few women on his arm.
Tony with Mojo at the track.
Stewart with former Miss Winston Renee White. Way to go, Tony! Older women rock!