Tony Stewart confronted a fan Friday night at the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, OK. It’s unclear what the fan said to prompt such a response out of Stewart, but apparently the fan’s perpetual heckling of Stewart was enough to bring the veteran racer into the stands for a face to face.
Even after Stewart grabs the fan’s shirt and is being restrained by him, the fan can still be heard repeating that he never like Stewart. That seems obvious. A third individual, perhaps a Chili Bowl official who, to his credit, allowed the two to jaw at each other as long as tempers remained in tact, eventually shoved the fan back into his seat before the whole scene concluded.
Is this just Tony Stewart being, well, Tony Stewart? Yes and not yes. Stewart’s temper is legend and while the video doesn’t show it, there’s every likelihood that the heckling touched on Stewart’s most infamous incident involving Kevin Ward. But this is midget racing at it’s absolute pinnacle and tempers are as volatile as the machines these drivers pilot.
While there’s money on the line, bragging might trump any dollar amount scrawled on an oversized check. Chili Bowl attracts hardcore veterans like the Swindells, up and coming stars like 2015 winner Rico Abreu, Tanner Thorson, and Christopher Bell, and NASCAR drivers Justin Allgaier, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Kasey Kahne, and Kyle Larson. The lineup is, to say the least, packed with people with something to prove.
But that lineup does not include the fans, and that’s where Stewart crosses the line. He’s no novice when it comes to hecklers and haters, so it’s hard to simply lay it on Chili Bowl breeding tempers.
The 30th Annual Chili Bowl concluded tonight, and it should certainly be worth the price of admission.