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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]
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished 7th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Earnhardt Jr. is 4th, Gordon is 1st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished 1st, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS finished 37th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick  is 22nd, Kahne is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd.(Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Stewart-Haas Racing team co-owner Gene Haas (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Stewart-Haas Racing team co-owner Gene Haas (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Damage to the winshield of Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Spring is Calling Chevrolet, is repaired on pit road during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, crashes early in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, lead the field past the green flag after the initial caution ended during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, lead the field past the green flag after the initial caution ended during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, drives in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 5, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 5, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 Toyota No. 1 For Everyone Sales Event Toyota, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS races to a third-place finish Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Racing Chevrolet SS won the race and Jimmie Johnson driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished second. (Photo by HHP/Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS (left) battles Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Racing Chevrolet SS Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. Busch won the race. Johnson finished second.  (Photo by HHP/Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, talks to Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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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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