NASCAR win gets Stewart into White House

April 17, 2012 at 8:05 PM
2 of 3
| License Photo

WASHINGTON, April 17 (UPI) -- Race car driver Tony Stewart's 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship earned him a trip to the White House Tuesday where President Barack Obama praised his effort.

In congratulating Stewart on his accomplishment, Obama recounted Stewart's victory in a must-win situation in the final post-season race in Miami.

"Tony went all out. Twice he came from back of the pack, passing 118 cars -- sometimes three wide," Obama said. "Tony said it felt like he passed half the state of Florida. But in the end, he hung on to take the checkered flag and win the championship with a tie-breaker.

"And Tony himself acknowledged he didn't see it coming; nobody saw it coming. We've all heard about athletes who say they're going to do what it takes to win it all. But back in August, with the season winding down, Tony predicted he wouldn't be able to pull it off.

"In fact, he said that if he did end up winning the championship -- this is a quote -- 'I'll declare I'm a total bumbling idiot,'" the president said, eliciting laughter. "Here's your chance, Tony.

"But I think Tony's hero, the great A.J. Foyt, put it best when he said the reason Tony won was because he drove the best race of his life. Period. And he did it with the rest of these drivers on his tail."

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
FSU dismisses QB after video shows him hitting woman
Tennessee Titans QB Mariota remains unsigned
Chicago Blackhawks trade G Nilsson to Edmonton Oilers for F Coughlin
Report: G Williams rejoining Cleveland Cavaliers
WBO strips Mayweather of welterweight title