Racing beat

| October 01, 2006

Left to right: Tony Stewart and Sam Bass unveil a print commemorating Stewart’s 2005 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard victory.

Talk to Tony
Having earned a reputation as NASCAR’s “bad boy” with occasionally violent behavior and more than a few temper flare-ups, Tony Stewart returned to Alabama in mid-summer ready to talk – and laugh.

“I love Alabama,” Stewart says. “(Racing legend) Red Farmer and I are good friends, and in 2002, he and I started hunting and fishing together,” Stewart says. “He took me to a hunting club down by Demopolis, and now I’m a member, and he and I go every year. When he gets up my way, I take him to a hunting club in Indiana.

“That’s something I look forward to every time there’s a race week at Talladega. I know Red and I are going to get together and do some stuff.”

Talladega has proven to be a good luck omen for Stewart. When he left TSS after the 2002 October race, he had logged one of his six, second-place finishes at the track and left town with a first-place position in points.

He would go on to win his first Cup series title that season.

“Now it’s become a tradition,” Stewart says. “I know when I come here, Red and I are going to hunt or fish, and I also know I’m going to watch him run dirt and run a little myself. It’s become a major part of trips to Talladega.”

Stewart has become a frequent visitor – and competitor – at Talladega Short Track, which he calls “the neatest dirt track I’ve ever seen.” He says any time there’s something going on at the 1/3-mile clay oval, he wants to be a part of it.

“If it has something to do with Talladega Short Track, I’m there,” Stewart says. “Anybody who knows me knows I race late models a lot. It’s my favorite kind of racing, and it’s almost as fun to watch Red race as to do it myself.

“So I know when I come here, I can race at a track where I usually finish pretty well, race at the most fun dirt track in the country and hang out with a good friend.”

Beginning in January, Stewart will have the opportunity to hang out with a lot more of his good friends.

SIRIUS Satellite Radio, the Official Satellite Radio Partner of NASCAR starting in 2007, will be home to a weekly live talk show hosted by Stewart.

Tony Stewart Live will air exclusively on SIRIUS’ upcoming 24/7 NASCAR channel. The weekly, two-hour show will feature Stewart – who has never been shy about expressing his opinions in 27 years of racing – taking calls from listeners, talking with prominent guests and talking about motorsports from NASCAR to open-wheel racing.

Matt Yocum, who is a pit reporter for the NASCAR broadcasts on FOX/FX and NBC/TNT, will be Stewart’s co-host on Tony Stewart Live.

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