Tony Stewart talks Peyton Manning
Three-time and defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart joined SPEED’s NASCAR Race Hub tonight via satellite from Las Vegas, site of this weekend’s race.
Stewart, an Indiana native and Indianapolis Colts fan, spoke with host Steve Byrnes and gave his reaction to quarterback Peyton Manning’s release. He also talked about his thoughts on possibly competing in the upcoming and inaugural Grand-Am Rolex Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27.
Byrnes: You’re a huge Indianapolis Colts fan, you grew up in Indiana, and I’ve seen some angry comments about Peyton Manning being released. I’m curious. From your standpoint, Colts owner Robert Irsay had to make a hard decision - your thoughts as both a fan and a team owner?
Stewart: I’ve actually had the chance to interact with Peyton at a couple of appearances, and (at) a charity bowling tournament he had in Indy, I had a chance to be with him up there. He’s just a great guy, and has meant so much to the Indianapolis Colts and the city of Indianapolis. I know we’re all sad to see him go. I think in the short term it is going be painful, but in the long term, I think it’s a great opportunity for us to start rebuilding the program and make things better. In the big picture, it’s probably in the best interest of the franchise, but you can’t imagine the Indianapolis Colts without Peyton Manning – so it’s going to be hard for all of us. I know I personally wish him well wherever he ends up, and whatever he ends up doing. He’s been such a great figure, and such a great quarterback. Whatever he does you just want him to stay happy and be healthy.
Byrnes: One of the things I admire about you and that race fans really like is the fact that you race in all kinds of series. I read a quote that you might be interested in running the Grand-Am race at Indianapolis at the Brickyard (Indianapolis Motor Speedway). Is that accurate?
Stewart: We haven’t really talked to anybody about it much yet, but since I made the comment the other day, we’ve already had a couple of phone calls. So there might be potential that we might get to do something for Indianapolis… for that Grand Am race.