Stewart likens NASCAR to wrestling

Stewart likens NASCAR to wrestling

Stewart likens NASCAR to wrestling
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Two-time champion Tony Stewart likened NASCAR to professional wrestling and accused it of using bogus caution flags to shape races in biting comments made on his weekly radio show.

"I guess NASCAR thinks, 'Hey, wrestling worked, and it was for the most part staged, so I guess it's going to work in racing, too.' I can't understand how long the fans are going to let NASCAR treat them like they're stupid before the fans finally turn on NASCAR."

Stewart's appearance on his Tuesday night show was his first since skipping a post-race press conference in Phoenix. He dominated Saturday night's race but lost after a late exchange of leads with winner Jeff Gordon. Stewart said he refused interviews to avoid bashing NASCAR after officials threw four cautions for debris on the track.

"It's like playing God," he said on his Sirius Satellite Radio program. "They can almost dictate the race instead of the drivers doing it. It's happened too many times this year."

Stewart, who said he was fighting a fever and left the two-hour show early, went on to say fans are complaining about debris cautions and NASCAR isn't listening.

"I guess NASCAR thinks, 'Hey, wrestling worked, and it was for the most part staged, so I guess it's going to work in racing, too,'" he said. "I can't understand how long the fans are going to let NASCAR treat them like they're stupid before the fans finally turn on NASCAR.

"I don't know that they've run a fair race all year," he said.

NASCAR officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

Stewart led a race-high 132 laps at Phoenix but lost the lead while pitting under the final caution, which came for an accident. He used an impressive three-wide pass to re-claim the lead, only to swap it right back to Gordon, who drove away to victory.

Stewart called it the only legitimate caution of the day.

"To me, it's not all about the money, it's about the integrity of the sport," he said on his radio program. "When I feel our own sanctioning body isn't taking care of that, it's hard to support them and feel proud about being a driver in the Nextel Cup Series when they're throwing debris cautions."

He has had a frustrating start to the season, dominating several races but failing to find his way to Victory Lane. He was the class of the field at Daytona and Bristol, only to lose those races because of a wreck and mechanical failure.

He also lost a race in Atlanta when a debris caution came out while he was leading with 25 laps to go and the field pitted. Jimmie Johnson passed him for the victory with three laps to go.

Stewart was so frustrated after wrecking in Texas two weeks ago -- an accident caused by hard racing with Juan Pablo Montoya and criticized because Stewart ultimately wrecked Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- he threatened retirement.

The 35-year-old Stewart had calmed by the time he hosted last week's radio show, when he said he talked of retiring out of frustration.


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Re: Stewart likens NASCAR to wrestling

I wonder how big of fine he has coming for those comments.  ???

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Re: Stewart likens NASCAR to wrestling

Stewart placed on probation and fined for actions at PIR
April 27th, 2007

Daytona Beach, FL (Sports Network) - Two-time Nextel Cup Series champion Tony Stewart avoided any penalty for a tirade on his weekly radio show that questioned NASCAR officials integrity, but was instead fined $10,000 and put on probation for "failing to fulfill his post-race media obligation" following the Subway Fresh Fit 500 race last Saturday night at Phoenix International Raceway.

Stewart violated Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-H (any member who violates 7-2B: Failure to meet obligation of an accepted entry; failure to fulfill post-race media obligation).

The top-three finishers in a race and the top-finishing rookie are supposed to meet with the media after a race.

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