During his full-time NASCAR career, Tony Stewart had no problems mixing it up with anyone. Fellow drivers and even fans found themselves on the wrong side of Smoke’s wrath a time or two.
But, while feuding with a rival driver or silencing a rowdy fan was par for the course for the three-time Cup champ, Stewart almost seemed to take a little bit of personal joy in going head-to-head with members of the NASCAR media.
You could probably write a book about his skirmishes with the press, but here we’ll just look at five times when Tony Stewart really put on a show at press conferences.
Tony Stewart vs. the Media Press Conferences
“You Guys Started All That Crap”
After winning the FedEx 400 at Dover back in 2013, Stewart actually walked into the media center in good spirits.
But, what began as love fest over his team at Stewart-Haas Racing ended in a repudiation of the media, after he fielded a question regarding rumors that he was looking to replace then crew chief Steve Addington.
“I don’t know who you guys are talking to in the garage,” Stewart said. “You guys need to come and talk to us because we never discussed any of this crap that’s been going around. It’s been a huge distraction for our organization. And [winning] doesn’t calm me down, because it ticks me off that I’ve got to sit here and go through this crap because of you guys.”
Stewart’s tirade continues for over two minutes (as you can see in the above clip), and while the claims of Stewart looking elsewhere for talent weren’t completely unfounded, he clearly wasn’t happy with the story’s high place in the NASCAR news cycle.
“Jeff Gordon Sat Here?”
If you know anything about Tony Stewart, you know that he loves to pile on with the sarcasm, especially when dealing with the media. That sarcasm was on full display during this exchange between Stewart and NASCAR.com’s Joe Menzer after Stewart’s win at Kansas Speedway in 2009.
Menzer used Jeff Gordon — and the fact that Stewart was sitting right where Gordon previously sat — to usher in a discussion about the old NASCAR points system. And, well, you can see how the rest unfolded in the clip above.
“Glad to See You’re Back to Form”
ESPN reporter David Newton was a favorite target of Stewart’s, and during this press conference following the Richmond race in 2012, Stewart gave Newton a piece of his mind in less than 20 seconds
“David, only you’d think about stuff like that,” Tony responded, after Newton asked what Stewart thought about it being the third straight race with no wreck.
“I don’t know what you think of during the races, but I try to figure out how to win the race and make my car go fast. I don’t sit there and think of that petty crap that you think of.”
“Glad to see you’re back to form.”
The quick and vicious putdown, along with Dale Earnhardt Jr. almost cracking up with laughter, makes this Tony Stewart press conference moment an instant classic.
“Total Drama Network”
Tony Stewart hated a media-manufactured feud. Hell, he didn’t need any help on that front, as he’d probably be one of the first to admit.
So, when reporter Shannon Spake asked what it was like to sit so close to Carl Edwards while they were in such fierce Cup competition in 2011, Stewart decided to go after Spake’s network at the time, ESPN, for making a mountain out of a molehill.
“Our demeanor isn’t any different now than it always is,” Stewart said.
“It’s you guys [in the media] and [on TV] that love to build up that crap between everybody. The total drama network, for sure. At least they’re consistent about it; everybody at ESPN is consistent. I don’t see [the Cup pressure] being any different than normal.”
“We Could Start Sawing Legs Off”
If there’s one thing that would get Tony Stewart absolutely fired up during a press conference, it was reporters asking if the sport was too safe (see Stewart’s short-but sweet exchange with David Newton).
Back in 2010, Stewart fielded a question about the Car of Tomorrow and whether he thought fans were turned off by the sport because it was becoming too safe. Well, just see how Tony responded to that, because it has to be one of his most heated media center slams of all time.
Products featured on FanBuzz are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.