Often referred to as “Smoke”, Tony Stewart is set to retire from Sprint Cup, but the retirement announcement isn’t effective until next year. This gives something for the fans to cheer till 2016.
During a 53-minute news conference, he was seen flashing his old self, amusing his fans while talking about his retirement plans.
Rumors started floating around about Tony’s retirement after the sprint cup, since Sunday. Sources state that he wanted to set the terms of his announcement himself and should come from his own mouth.
According to The New York Times, Stewart said, “This was 100 percent my decision. There was not one factor that led to this other than just I felt like it was the right time.”
The 44-year-old racer has three top Nascar championships under his belt and feels that his 17-year long unplanned career has turned out to be better than he imagined. He has also been a team owner back in 2009.
Stewart also set out no so subtle challenge to his competitors as he will race like he has nothing to lose.
The USA Today noted him as saying, “Next year is not a coast-and-collect year. It’s just the opposite because I don’t have to worry about making anybody mad next year and having to deal with it in 2017. I can rough everybody up next year if that’s what it takes to accomplish my goals and sit there and just smile and laugh about it at Homestead.”
The last two years have been really difficult for Stewart as he missed 15 races in the 2013 Sprint Cup following a broken right leg. He was also involved in accidentally killing Kevin Ward Jr. after he was approaching Stewart’s car on foot after a clash.
Eddie Gossage, the Texas Motor speedway president, said, “I think the incident where he broke his leg and then a year later, when he had just that horrible accident with the fatality up in New York State in a sprint car, really sapped him of a lot of the passion.”