There have been an incredible amount of changes over the past decade in NASCAR betting as the sport has abandoned its roots and much of what made it great and unique as it has instead sold its soul in the attempt to go “mainstream.” But there is one element of NASCAR today that is very yesterday and his name is Tony Stewart, the 2011 Sprint Cup Champion.
Stewart is a throwback to the days of Junior Johnson, Richard Petty, AJ Foyt, and Dale Earnhardt. He is a racer’s racer, a pure racer, a man that will hop into anything that runs and go all out for glory. Stewart is not your corporate cookie cutter type in the mold of today’s drivers such as Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon. Sure, Johnson and Gordon are champions and certain future Hall of Fame drivers but neither can match the “in his bones” and soul love of racing that Stewart possesses. In fact, everyone in NASCAR betting knows that Stewart is possessed by racing.
Stewart has raced every type of vehicle imaginable and was a champion on the Indy Car circuit before signing up with Joe Gibbs racing to run in NASCAR, where he became a fulltime driver in 2000. Stewart quickly captured the imagination of fans for his explosive temper which came to the forefront in 2001 when he deliberately slammed into Jeff Gordon at the Bristol race that spring due to what he felt was dirty driving.
Since that time Stewart has had numerous run-ins with the NASCAR brass, other drivers, writers, commentators, and camera men. NASCAR even forced him to attend anger management training a few years ago. But none of that in the end has mattered to Stewart fans, who love his intensity and passion for greatness.
This year Stewart emerged from the background as Carl Edwards was closing in on the Sprint Cup title for 2011. But Stewart drove a fantastic race at Homestead, FL in the NASCAR season finale to steal the title from Edwards and take his 3rd championship in the series. Stewart finished this season with five wins and a total of 19 top 10 finishes as a model of excellence and consistency.
Stewart furthers his throwback credentials as his own team owner, just exactly like Petty did in his heyday when he dominated the sport for a generation, which is what Stewart aims to do for years to come.