Originally written on Bush League Chronicle  |  Last updated 2/26/13

On Sunday, Tony Stewart was involved in a crash during the Daytona 500 that denied him his first chance at winning the sport's biggest race. He finished 41st and said afterward that he "heartbroken and disappointed" in the outcome.However, his misfortune in the race didn't stop him from visiting fans at a local Daytona Beach hospital, who were injured during Saturday's Nationwide Series race when a fiery crash on the last lap sent debris flying into the stands. He immediately expressed concern for the fans after the scary incident."We've always known since racing was started this was a dangerous sport, but we assume that risk, and it's hard when the fans get caught up in it," Stewart said in a subdued celebration that day. "So as much as we want to celebrate now and as much as this is a big deal to all of us, I'm more worried about the drivers (injured) and the fans in the stands right now, because I could see it all in the mirror, and it didn't look good from where I was at, either."Stewart, who won Saturday's race, spent more than two hours after the Daytona 500 visiting with six patients still hospitalized at Halifax Health. He reportedly interacted at length with five of them, according to a Stewart-Haas Racing spokesperson.Each patient received an autographed hat from sponsor Bass Pro Shops in which Stewart personalized in their presence.Stewart's trip was not meant to be publicly known, but news of the occurrence quickly began to spread onto Twitter by Monday afternoon.Via USA TODAY

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  • The man has gained my respect.
  • and cant spell, loews? flag this advertising scum
  • If Tony has just now gained your " RESPECT". The "SMOKE" has lifted.
  • I am with SMOKE.
  • The sign of a true Champion....like him or not that was a class act from the heart and not a media blitz....having known and worked around the late Dale Earnhardt and the King Richard Petty that is something they would do. I tip my hat to you Smoke and I am proud of who you have become.
  • I have always had the utmost respect for Tony "SMOKE" Stewart. Beginning with Indy & continuing into NASCAR. And besides all that, there are a lot of other things I like 'smoked'!
  • i remember when #3 passed away and dr. jerry punch told a story about dale talking to a pastor in his town and the pastor mentioned he needed 30k to pave the parking lot and dale wrote out a check and gave it to him. then he said he turned to him and said ``don`t tell anyone``. its moments like these that make us remember how WE ALL SHOULD ACT TOWARDS OTHER PEOPLE... HEY SMOKE !!!!!!!!!!! CLASSY MOVE !!!!!!!!!!
  • Smoke is a class act! Too bad some of the other drivers couldn't learn from his example.
  • Thank-you Tony for making visits to those patients, wish more drivers would do that, if there were little or no fans there would be no NASCAR. Thank-you again for taking your time. Best of Luck for a Great New Racing Year.
  • Did anyone edit this story?!!??!?! This wasn't Tony's "first chance and winning the sport's biggest race". He's been in this race many times. The wreck denied him a chance at his first win.

    And by the way - cool thing you did Tony. Very cool.
  • Smoke is the man, like him or not. Very passionate about the sport.
  • Proof that NASCAR drivers truly care about their fans, unlike so many other professional "athletes" - they know without their fans devotion their sport would not survive. Thumbs-up Smoke.
  • Dont expect to see that cheap trick Jimmie Johnson down there with those injured fans. Good for You Tony. Praying for the injured fans.
  • "On Sunday, Tony Stewart was involved in a crash during the Daytona 500 which denied him his first chance at winning the sport's biggest race."

    Wrong. He was denied his chance at winning his first. It was not his first chance. He has been in the Daytona 500 many times.


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