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Stewart laments loss of 'old-style respect'

Tony Stewart might have won the race, but he had much to say about a lack of mutual respect and an "everybody's in it for themselves" attitude that he fears is overtaking NASCAR.
For a driver who had just won his first race of the season - and the Chase opener at that - Tony Stewart was remarkably downbeat when talking with the press after winning the rain-delayed Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Monday.

The main target of his frustration was the lack of old-style 'racing etiquette' on track, which Stewart feels might be gone forever. Instead, as far as he could see, these days everyone was just out for themselves and to hell with the consequences.

"The way guys were racing today, you had to take chances. You had to put yourself in bad spots. Everybody was putting each other in bad spots during the day," he said. "It wasn't a lot of give and take there. There was a lot of times that it was obvious that guys were quicker than others earlier in the race, and instead of using the etiquette we've had forever ... I don't think you're going to see that etiquette anymore. I think it's just dying off."

Putting it down to how "the ante has I guess gone up", Stewart was sad to see the end of "a part of the sport that I liked, because I like the respect that guys gave each other.

"When you had Dale Earnhardt around you learned if you weren't doing the right thing - and Dale Jarrett and Rusty Wallace - they would teach you if you were doing something wrong at the wrong time," he continued. "You see what happens now: take somebody out, they get their car fixed, they come out and their sole goal is not to finish it out and get the points they can get, their sole purpose on coming back to the racetrack is to return your day. It's just the attitude of everybody on the racetrack is changed.

"I think guys don't care whether they make anybody mad on the racetrack or not," Stewart suggested. "They're just going to do what they want to do and they're only solely worried about themselves.

"There's a handful of guys that we still know will race us with respect and that's why those guys end up up front every week. It's our advantage that those guys are the only few guys that know how to do it," he added. "The funny thing is that guys that don't do it are the guys that don't have good days all the time. And they haven't figured out if you work with everybody that everybody else will work with you but you gotta do what everybody else is doing."

Stewart was vocal about this back at Infineon Raceway in June, where he took it upon himself to teach Brian Vickers some race manners in the old-fashioned way. He said then that he was done playing nice if no one else was going to, and he reiterated that after Chicagoland.

"We're going to start adopting that attitude. I mean, I'm tired of being a guy that gives a guy a break and then a guy doesn't do it in return or the guy puts you in a bad situation, and we were put in multiple bad situations by guys that I got a lot of respect for and that are friends of mine," he said at the press conference. "I'm just going to adapt to their style. I'm not going to fight 42 guys to try to convince them to do the right thing. They don't want to do the right thing, so we're just going to do it their way. It's a lot easier to not care about anybody but ourselves. That's what we'll do."




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Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, talks with the media during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 400 weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. September 2011 in Joliet, Ill. [Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, pits along with the rest of the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Panasonic Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, is congratulated by his Hendrik Motor Sports teammates Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevrolet SS (left), Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS (center) and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS (right) after his victory Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne joins Gordon, Johnson, and Earnhardt Jr. in the Chase. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, qualified for twelfth position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. After a three-race absence, Tony Stewart has returned to the track at Atlanta. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, won the Pole position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. It was Harvick`s sixth pole win of the 2014 season. He is 7th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart at Dover International Speedway on May 30 2014. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR Media)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS, finished eighth and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, finished 35th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, finished fourth and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finished twelfth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, qualified for sixth position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Johnson is seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmie John`s Chevrolet SS, won the pole position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Harvick is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, poses with the pole award after qualifying fastest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, poses with his wife DeLana, son Keelan, and the pole award after qualifying fastest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 17, 2014 in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS finished second. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS, qualified sixth Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Harvick is 8th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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stogie5150 - Unregistered

September 20, 2011 6:52 PM

Tony's right. Which is exactly why, along with the bogus "chase" championship format, a lot of us that became fans in the early 90's are watching NFL on Sundays instead of tuning into NASCAR's manufactured 'racing'.



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