Waltrip Comments on Tony Stewart’s retirement

Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart

FOX NASCAR analyst and three-time NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES champion Darrell Waltrip shares his thoughts on three-time champ Tony Stewart’s announcement he will retire from full-time NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES competition at the conclusion of the 2016 season. Waltrip’s quotes are below:

On the timing of Stewart’s retirement:

Waltrip: "I was a little surprised to hear he is retiring at the end of 2016 instead of the end of this season because we know Clint Bowyer is available next year and will go in the No. 14 when Stewart steps out, but only he knows what is best for him and his situation."

On the thought process a champion goes through when deciding to retire:

Waltrip: "It’s hard for a driver to walk away when they’re not running well, so this decision probably was a real tough one for Stewart. When you’re running well, you don’t want to step aside, but when you’re not running well, you want to keep going until the tide turns and you can go out on top a little more. You keep thinking and hoping you can get that magic back. Hopefully, Stewart will get the ship steered in the right direction, make good use off the off-season, come back in 2016, have a great year and feel really good about leaving the driver’s seat when he does."

On what Stewart’s legacy in NASCAR will be:

Waltrip: "There is absolutely no question Stewart is one of the top-five stock-car racing drivers of all time and one of the most versatile NASCAR has ever seen. He has won championships in the Cup Series, IndyCar Series, sprint cars and IROC. That versatility sets him apart from most anyone who has ever graced the cockpit of a stock car. Stewart is the epitome of a pure driver who only cares about racing. He doesn’t do it for the fame or the money but rather for the thrill and love of the competition.

"In addition, he is a great businessman who had the foresight and savvy to team up with Gene Haas, going on to win a championship both as a driver/owner and then as an owner with Kevin Harvick. Stewart turned that team into a powerhouse when he arrived because he understood what it takes to be successful not only as a driver but as an owner. He did the same thing in sprint cars previously, and also has done an incredible job as owner of Eldora Speedway, one of the most iconic dirt tracks in the United States. Stewart has expertly done many of the extracurricular things I dreamed of doing. I wish I could have been a successful driver/owner like he has been. He was able to balance life and business inside and outside the car, and that is very rare in this sport."

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