Stewart Calls It a Career

November 20, 2016 | Professional Writing

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Tony Stewart finished his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, finishing 22nd in the Ford EcoBoost 400. The three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion and future NASCAR Hall of Fame driver finishes his 18-year career with 49 victories, 13th on the all-time wins list, 187 top-five finishes and 308 top-10 finishes.

The mid-pack finish on Sunday won’t damper Stewart’s memory of his final Sprint Cup start, saying the day was mostly routine.

“I raced. I did what I do every time I get in the car,” Stewart said. “I didn’t think of anything else other than just racing the race.”

Once the race started, Stewart found himself battling handling issues and fighting for track position.

“We got behind there and we tried something to make ground and got caught out and had to run 60 laps on a set of tires,” Stewart said. “At the end the line-up there was, let’s say confusing.  I was still screaming about that just like I would on any other race.  I was true to form all the way to the end.”

Prior to the start of the race, Stewart stayed on pit road to high five crew members and then led the field on the parade laps, following behind a truck pulling a giant “Thank You Smoke” banner, a humbling experience.

“Probably the coolest thing about the day that I just thought of was just pulling away and coming down pit road and high fiving all those guys.  It made me think back to the moment when Dale, Sr. won the Daytona 500.  It was just an awesome moment.  It made me feel good because those are guys that like us and we have mutual respect for each other.”

“I’ve said all year I just want to be one of the guys racing. To be put out there it’s an honor, but it’s humbling at the same time.”

Stewart may be calling it a driving career in NASCAR but he will remain active as co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing. And while his full plans for 2017 have yet to be announced, Stewart says he will remain busy.

“It’s been an awesome 21 years racing in NASCAR with the Xfinity Series and the Cup Series. Stay tuned we will let you know when we know. It won’t be long.  We aren’t going to wait too long.”

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