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Stewart's 'dead-weight' remains a mystery

Tony Stewart's barbed comment about how getting rid of some "dead weight" had helped speed him on his way to a second straight victory in the Chase has set fans puzzling.
When Tony Stewart was standing in victory lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, he was asked what had changed to put him back at the top after such a frustrating season up till the Chase cut-off.

"We got rid of some dead weight earlier this week, so it made it a lot easier," he responded to the pit lane reporter on national TV. "It's been a big weight lifted off our shoulders. Just sometimes you have to make adjustments in your life and we did that and it has definitely helped."

So what exactly was Stewart referring to when he said "dead weight"?

His crew chief, Darian Grubb, certainly had no idea. "I've heard a lot of people talk about it, but I haven't heard what he was talking about," he said at the post-race press conference. "I know he went and did a lot of dirt racing and had a lot of fun this week, kind of unloaded everything. Maybe it was a lot of dead weight off his mind."

No one was buying that one. Surely "dead weight" related to a person - had someone been fired from the team?

"Not that I know of," said Grubb. "Maybe he's talking about me and I just don't know it yet!" he added, getting a good laugh from the assembled media.

It seemed that the only person who knew what Smoke was talking about was Smoke, so when Tony Stewart showed up for his own post-race interview it was the first question he was asked by the press.

"We're just going to leave it at that," said Stewart, bluntly.

"Could we ask if it that was ...?"

"You can't ask anything. It is what it is. That's all it was is what you said. That's where we'll leave it," said Stewart, firmly closing the door on any follow-ups.

He did confirm that the comment did not refer to any personnel changes at Stewart/Haas. Darian Grubb was presumably relieved in the sidelines to know that his pink slip wasn't winging its way through the mail to him after all. Stewart's agent was also at the race looking distinctly employed as well, so it wasn't that either.

With Stewart known to be notoriously prickly with the media when riled, no one else pressed on with that line of questioning - but that didn't stop the speculation continuing afterwards both in the press room and with fans online.

The favourite theory is that it related to a break-up with his girlfriend Jessica Zemken, a racing driver in World of Outlaws and Sprint cars, and plenty of consoling messages on her Facebook fan page seemed to make the assumption that the jab had indeed been directed her way.




Related Pictures

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Tony Stewart answering questions from the media at Levine Children`s Hospital about the seventh annual Prelude to the Dream charity fundraising event at Eldora Speedway [Picture credit: CIA Stock Photography, Inc.]
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Busch is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finishes in sixth place and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing) and David Ragan (Joe Gibbs Racing) spin out during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, is involved in an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualifies for seventh position Friday, April 17, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Busch is 21st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 11, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, poses after winning the Coors Light Pole Award during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 10, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, poses after winning the Coors Light Pole Award during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 10, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the # 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s ChevroletSS, qualifies for second position Friday, April 10, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Joining Harvick on the front row will be Pole winner Kurt Busch, driver of the # 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the # 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, won the Pole Friday, April 10, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Joining Busch on the front row will be Kevin Harvick, driver of the # 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS who qualified second. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the # 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, won the Pole Friday, April 10, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Joining Busch on the front row will be Kevin Harvick, driver of the # 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS who qualified second. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
A view of a decal placed on the #14 Code 3 Associates / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, driven by Tony Stewart (not pictured), during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 FVP/Menards Chevrolet SS finishes in fourth place and Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS finishes in fourteenth place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS finishes in third place and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS finishes in second place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, climbs into his car prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS qualifies for 2nd position Friday, March 20, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Joining him on the front row will be Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS who won the Pole position. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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Spook - Unregistered

October 01, 2011 6:01 AM

The very first thing I thought when Smoke made his comment was about the monkey on his back because he hadn't won any race's this year. Smoke will keep everyone "wondering" all the way to the bank. Now, 3 for 3, it can be done.



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