“I Was So Mad”: Tony Stewart Once Recalled “Fond” Memories of Racing Against Dale Earnhardt and Other NASCAR Legends

Published 12/29/2022, 12:00 PM EST

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Back in 2020, Tony Stewart appeared in an interview with 2-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip. He reminisced about his days of racing and what it was like competing at the top. Along the way, he squared off against numerous top stars and developed healthy rivalries. Among them were drivers like Dale Earnhardt, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, and many more, who were legends of the sport.

Stewart told Waltrip, “I had a blast racing with you, because it didn’t matter. There were days when the car was so bad, I was so mad at what was going on, I couldn’t see straight. And then, you’d either go by or I’d catch you and go by, and we’d wave at each other. It was like, ‘Ah it’s not so bad, we’re still getting to race today and have a good time.’ So that was one of the fun parts of my day, was us waving at each other when we were on the race track and having some good battles.”

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What else did Tony Stewart say about racing against top NASCAR drivers?

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The former Joe Gibbs Racing driver acknowledged that he often enjoyed his tussles with his contemporaries. Even when his car was not up to scratch, the battles were enough to alleviate his gripes. According to him, in his day, the racing was very tactical and a lot of strategizing was involved.

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Stewart continued, “The days that guys had to manage tires and budget your tires. You really had to treat it like a chess match. That’s where racing with you, Dale Sr, and Mark Martin, and Rusty Wallace. Those guys were so good at knowing how to budget their tires, and I learned a lot.”

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Safe to say, Stewart used whatever he could learn from whomever possible and implemented it in his racing. This attitude must have helped him become a better driver and clinch three Cup Series titles along with 49 race wins.

WATCH THIS STORY: Tony Stewart’s Historic Feat Could Be Matched By Kyle Busch After JGR Shackles Are Broken

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Dhruv George

13856 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

Edited By: Nischal Kandpal

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