The far-reaching ESPN television network will debut a SportsCentury profile of Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, at 2 p.m. EDT on Mon., May 23 on ESPN with a simulcast on ESPN HD. The SportsCentury: Tony Stewart profile will make its ESPN Classic debut at 8 p.m. EDT on Fri., May 27.
Arguably one of auto racing's most versatile drivers, Stewart is the only one to ever win titles at the highest levels of open-wheel and stock car racing. Before winning the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship, Stewart notched eight other championships in a driving career dating back to 1978 when the Indiana native was seven years old. He has three karting championships, four United States Auto Club championships - including the 1995 USAC Triple Crown where Stewart won titles in the National Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown divisions - and an IRL IndyCar Series championship.
SportsCentury: Tony Stewart will examine...
His outspoken and controversial personality, one that is full of contradiction - bad boy persona versus privately generous and funny.
His love/hate relationship with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
His period of struggle and uncertainty after high school.
His roller-coaster season en route to the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship.
His NASCAR fame and celebrity status.
How he talks regularly about leaving the sport's top series and building a life around grassroots motorsports.
By having an ESPN SportsCentury profile, Stewart joins an elite list of racing counterparts previously chronicled on SportsCentury. They are Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Richard Petty, Tim Flock, A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears, Mario Andretti, Al Unser and Bill Vukovich.
Below are excerpts from SportsCentury: Tony Stewart...
"He loves racing the same way the first guy who ever thought to get in a race car. He enjoys it for what it's purely worth, and that's the competition, the battle of side-by-side with another guy out on the track." - Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver
"This is my life. This isn't 75 million race fan's lives. They might live their life through me at times. But at the end of the day, this is my life. I don't get to die and hit reset, and start over, and get to do it a different way. I'm doing it the best way I know how." - Tony Stewart