NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Tony Stewart is as brazen as they come with fans who'd seemingly die for the hot-blooded Indiana native and haters who probably wish he were dead. Whatever your stance, nobody sits on the fence when it comes to the man affectionately nicknamed "Smoke." One dirt track race-goer who seems to fall in the latter category voiced his opinion Friday night after calling Stewart a handful of not-so-nice names and, by the end of it all, ended up on the receiving end of an understandably angry fist courtesy of the all-star driver.
Stewart, who now races winged sprint cars nearly every weekend along with owning Eldora Speedway and co-owning Stewart-Haas Racing, had just come off a tough heat at Jackson Motorplex in Minnesota. After just one lap, his engine blew and he was forced to retire from the event. While signing autographs for a fan at the track, Stewart was heckled by a man shouting just within earshot to which he replies with a quick middle-finger.
After telling him to "f*ck off," Stewart stared at the nay-sayer who had supposedly hazed him for only racing one lap, as well as having more than enough money to fix his car. The man returned with a loud-and-clear "I've got two of 'em," but by that, we're not sure if he meant two engines or two middle fingers.
It was then that Stewart decided words were no longer cutting it. Fans around him were yelling "Yeah, Tony!" as he went to throw a hefty left at the antagonist, landing one squarely against the side of his head. The impact can be heard on camera, as well as bystanders chanting "F*ck you, b*tch!"
Local police were reportedly not contacted and the altercation is said to have been handled by track officials.
As mentioned before, Stewart is a love-or-hate figure who finds himself in mixed favor among fans. However, several instances of hazing in the past haven't been deserved as often-belligerent loud-mouthers taunt Stewart regarding the August 2014 death of Kevin Ward Jr., an event that's been heavily reported on in the years since. Stewart was found not guilty of the 20-year-old's death in a 2018 court decision that focused on a collision between the two during a race at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park.