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Stewart laments loss of 'old-style respect'

Along with drivers like Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth, Stewart pointed toward veteran racer Mark Martin as one of those who still embodied the best of the NASCAR ethos of the old days.

"Mark's been one of the guys that's been one of my mentors and somebody that's on my top five on my hero list," he said, as rumours persist that he's trying to get Martin on board as a part-time driver for Stewart/Haas alternating a seat with Danica Patrick's limited Cup season appearances. "He's somebody I've got a lot of respect for and a lot of admiration for. And I wish I could be more like him."

Stewart was also less than happy with how the race came down to fuel mileage. Although he played that game to perfection where others faltered and fell at the last hurdle, that doesn't mean he's a fan of that style of racing.

"At the end you hate to have to play the fuel mileage game. But that's just the way the caution came out. And we came in and got fuel and Darian [Grubb, crew chief] told me we had to save a lap's worth of fuel," he said. "We picked up the chequered flag at the flag stand and we didn't do any wild burnout or anything like that and [still] ran out before we ever got on pit road, so we were closer than I wanted to be. But we didn't have anything to lose."

Perhaps one underlying reason for Stewart's reflective mood - which saw him once again take a few shots at the media at the start of the press conference - was simply that he hadn't been feeling at all well this weekend.

"I've been battling a migraine for a day and a half," he admitted. "It started about an hour before we qualified on Saturday. We battle that a lot, there's a lot of weekends we have it. We've raced with them before, it's not fun ... You get out of the car afterwards and you feel like you want to get hit by a train; it would make you feel better. But it definitely seemed like once the weather came through last night about 11 o'clock it finally broke a little bit, and I finally got a good night's rest."

And presumably the best tonic of all will be waking on on Tuesday morning, seeing the Chase points standings, and realising: this could actually happen for Tony Stewart and the #14 car this year. Who'd ever have thought it?




Related Pictures

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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]
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)
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Regan Smith prepares to stand in for Tony Stewart at short notice at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Stewart-Haas vice-president Greg Ziparelli addresses the media at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
The #28 Texas 28 Spirits Stage Dodge, driven by JJ Yeley, is seen after an on-track incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/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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