NASCAR »

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

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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.]
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Resers Toyota, lead the field at the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, qualified sixth fastest Saturday, July 26, 2014 for Sunday`s Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Tony Stewart presents Darrell Wallace Jr. , driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, with the trophy after winning the Camping World Truck 2nd Annual 1-800 Car Cash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 23, 2014 in Rossburg, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 AutoTrader.com Ford, and Morgan Shepherd, driver of the #33 Little Joe`s Autos Chevrolet, crash during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
A view of the track during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Crew chief Chad Knaus inspects the car of Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, after a crash during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, lead the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, crashes in the early part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola (R), driver of the #43 Charter Ford, inspects his car after crashing during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


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.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.