Tony Stewart ’ready to retire’ UPDATE Tony Stewart made headlines when he said he was “ready to retire” after a frustrating race at Texas Motor Speedway last Sunday.
Although Stewart later said he had spoken in the heat of the moment, retirement remains a possibility when his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing expires at the end of the 2009 season.
“I’m not going anywhere for 2 1/2 years,” Stewart said yesterday as he prepared for the Subway Fresh Fit 500. “We just have to assess in 2 1/2 years where we’re at and whether we’re still having fun or not. If we are, we’ll stay. If we’re not, we’ll go do something else.
“I made my father a promise when I was a kid that the day I wasn’t having fun driving race cars any more, I’d quit,” Stewart said. “It’s not exactly the safest sport to just participate if you’re not having a good time doing it.” Winston Salem Journal
04/17/07 Tony Stewart was so frustrated after Sunday's Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway that he did more than hint at retirement.
"I'm ready to retire," said Stewart, who spun twice and endured the wrath of Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans during the race. "As soon as I get enough money saved to where I can retire, I'd be more than happy to step away."
The reason for his frustration? For one, he was upset with Juan Pablo Montoya, who slipped in Turn 4 and bounced into Stewart, sending Stewart's No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet sideways.
Later, Stewart also spun off Turn 4 while trying to make up a lap on Kurt Busch, with Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch getting collected in the smoke off Stewart's car.
Earnhardt Jr. fans then booed Stewart for the remainder of the race. Stewart, who is good friends with Earnhardt Jr., was clearly bothered by the boos.
"It's like nothing we can do is right," Stewart said. "If we'd have been the one to do that to someone else, we would be slandered in the media for life for doing it. For some strange way, it will be my fault for some reason. It always is.
"Look at all the Junior fans that are mad at me for. I didn't even see what happened to Junior. I know I caused it, obviously. I'm trying to get one of my laps back right there. I'm doing what I'm supposed to do. There's no way in hell I would ever do anything to put Dale Jr. in jeopardy.
"It's disheartening when you have 180,000 people booing you every time you come around. That's what makes this stuff not fun anymore. It's not about the racing."
A few laps before the Earnhardt Jr./Busch incident, Stewart was racing Montoya hard in what Stewart described as a "Matt Kenseth motto" of racing.
"I'm going to race people how they race me," Stewart said. "You earn respect by doing things that are smart out there, and trying to pull out of line with 110 laps to go coming to the green flag [as Stewart said Montoya did] doesn't make much sense. If you race people with respect you get respect.
"If you do stuff like that and try to race people before you get to the start/finish line - then when I raced him, I raced him. And he took us out. That's just what happened."
Montoya said he tried to pass Stewart "three or four times, and he never gave me room."
"He just got really close to me," Montoya said. "He got me loose. I went into him and he spun. ... I went in a little different and got really loose, and I don't know what happened. We touched a little bit, and the next I see he's spinning." SceneDaily