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Stewart Says He'll Still Speak His Mind

Stewart Says He'll Still Speak His Mind

A week after being reprimanded for comments comparing NASCAR to professional wrestling, two-time Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart said Wednesday he'll continue to speak his mind.
Appearing at a media day promoting next month's Citizens Bank 400 at Michigan International Speedway, Stewart said his only regret last week wasn't going to NASCAR officials before airing the comments on his Sirius Satellite radio program.
Stewart characterized the past two weeks as long, but said he got the answers he was looking for in a meeting with NASCAR officials following his comments.
"One of my biggest faults is I can't say no and I don't know how to be politically correct," said Stewart, who referred to himself Wednesday as the "poster child for doing stupid things in NASCAR."
"If you ask me an honest question, you deserve to have an honest answer _ whether it's politically correct or not, whether it's popular or not."
No stranger to controversy, Stewart angered NASCAR officials when he accused NASCAR of using bogus debris cautions to orchestrate the outcome of races. Although not fined for his comments, Stewart was placed on probation for the remainder of the season.
"I can assure you, Tony Stewart knows where he stands with NASCAR right now," spokesman Jim Hunter said following the meeting.
On Wednesday, Stewart said his comments represented the views of many of his fellow drivers who don't want to voice their opinions in fear of being called in by NASCAR officials.
"It's hard to sit there in the heat of the moment," Stewart said. "We don't just drive around for 500 miles and get out and say, 'Hey, that was great.'
"It's a little more personal than that, it's a little more passionate than that and it's a lot more heated than that. It leads to not always looking at the consequences of how it's going to affect other people and the sanctioning body and the sponsors when you say something."
Stewart, sixth in the Nextel Cup points standings, said NASCAR officials never instructed him to be more politically correct in his comments. He said he'll continue to voice his opinions despite jabs from fellow drivers who took exception with Stewart's tendency to find controversy.
"(The criticism) doesn't bother me _ I can be politically correct like everybody else and then we'll listen to everybody gripe like they did a couple of years ago," Stewart said. "Everybody complained about how vanilla I was and how they didn't like it.
"Obviously, either way, I can't win and I can't make everybody happy so I might as well do it my way."


Updated : 2021-05-14 19:33 GMT+08:00