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Tony Stewart Reveals How Hate Fueled His Winning Intensity Across Various Crests of Motorsports

Published 11/22/2023, 10:09 PM EST

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When it comes to the world of NASCAR, there are only a few drivers who get to place themselves next to Tony Stewart. Even though Kevin Harvick is leaving his team, the Stewart-Haas Racing boss has faced adversity with sheer determination in almost every aspect of his life. But what’s fueling him the most runs deeper than just the competition. After all, he’s the only driver in history to win both the Indycar and NASCAR championships.

Speaking of Kevin Harvick and SHR, there’s a giant motor oil company that teamed up with NASCAR Studio to tell the tale of the biggest heroes of the sport. The series aired its pilot with Harvick and has now released the second episode, portraying Tony Stewart’s iron-willed mentality and how he’s turned the media and community noise into his driving force.

Mobil 1 pays heartfelt tribute to Tony Stewart weeks after honoring Kevin Harvick

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Tony Stewart had his first encounter with the world of motorsport when his father brought home a bootleg go-kart for him to play with. After a few years of ruining his mother’s backyard, Stewart finally got the opportunity to take it to the track. And his first win in any format didn’t come soon after he crossed the finish line at a local race in Westport, Indiana. Once he got the taste of victory, nothing else would suffice.

Tony Stewart went on to reflect on how his love for racing and the drive to win has the ultimate price, “I cared more about racing than anything. It wasn’t relationships, it wasn’t friendships, it was going to the racetrack on the weekend.” But according to the now well-established racer/owner, it sounded like a fair trade. He added, “You have to sacrifice personal time, personal relationships, you have to sacrifice a lot.”

Whether it’s Stewart’s first win in the NHRA Drag Racing Series in 2023 or his first win in NASCAR at the Richmond Raceway in 1999, the Smoke always crushed those who doubted his abilities. But he revealed this is what pushed him towards success, “On top of that, every time I went to a different form of racing, well he’s not gonna do that well in that car, he doesn’t know these cars and he won’t be very good at them. That has been the motivation to be good in everything.”

He concluded by sharing that it’s only those who go the extra mile to win every race who become champions, “There’s people that want the basketball with three seconds on the clock, they want the ball. And that’s the way I am as a driver. Whether it happens five seconds at a time or five hundred laps at a time, it doesn’t matter.” While Stewart also found success after his driving shenanigans met a timely end, the Stewart-Haas racing outfit finds itself in a woeful situation regarding its drivers. However, that situation may have been solved.

Will Noah Gragson or Cole Cluster fill in the No. 10 spot at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2024?

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In the wake of Aric Almirola and Kevin Harvick’s departure from Stewart-Haas Racing, the boss has been on a mission to find suitable replacements. Josh Berry was announced as the No. 4 driver’s replacement earlier this year. While Dale Eanhardt Jr shared his doubts on how effective Berry would be for SHR, there’s been debate about who will fill the last vacant seat on any team this season. Amidst rumors emerging about the situation, Noah Gragson finds himself right where he should be.

According to Jordan Bianchi from The Athletic, “Aric Almirola makes it official that he won’t return to Stewart-Haas Racing next year. SHR has not announced who will drive its No. 10 Cup car next year, but Noah Gragson is considered the favorite to land that ride, according to sources.” Although Gragson was involved in a controversy recently in regard to his social media activities, he is still the man touted to fill in the No. 10 spot.

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The signing of Noah Gragson would mean Tony Stewart has his formidable force complete, with Josh Berry already on board. However, another noteworthy candidate could still be Cole Cluster, the 2023 Xfinity Series title winner. But due to the fact that he has less experience compared to Gragson, Stewart might want to train the former Cup driver a little longer. The boss was quoted by Fox Sports earlier, “It’s getting that confidence and just keep getting him more and more experienced. It’s definitely not out of the question that he could be back in a Cup car with our program”

Watch This Story: Kevin Harvick’s Last NASCAR Race

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With time running out, Tony Stewart will have to make a decision quickly and hope for the best as SHR heads into the 2024 calendar with only one driver confirmed as of now. Who will fill the No. 10 spot?

 

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Written by:

Kabir Bajaj Ahmed

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I'm Kabir Bajaj Ahmed, an F1 Writer at EssentiallySports. My journey into the world of motorsports began when I watched the Top Gear Ayrton Senna tribute as a child. As I pursued my Mass Communication degree, my passion for motorsport was allowed to materialize through karting.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta