Charlotte Tony Stewart has unhappy birthday

Stewart has unhappy birthday By Brett Borden CONCORD, N.C. (May 21, 2000) Tony Stewart turned 29 on Saturday. He also turned the No. 6 and No. 22 cars around during The Winston at Lowe's Motor Speedway. And no one felt worse about it than the...

Stewart has unhappy birthday
By Brett Borden

CONCORD, N.C. (May 21, 2000) Tony Stewart turned 29 on Saturday. He also turned the No. 6 and No. 22 cars around during The Winston at Lowe's Motor Speedway. And no one felt worse about it than the birthday boy.

"First of all I want to apologize to Mark Martin because I sure as heck didn't mean to get into him," said Stewart, who finished 15th while Martin finished 17th. "I got a heck of a run off of (Turn) 2 and got underneath him, and I didn't expect him to come down. I think he was just guarding his line and I misjudged him and got him."

As for Martin, he didn't know what (or who) hit him.

"We were in the way, so I guess that's what you get for being in the way," said Martin, driver of the No. 6 Valvoline Ford. "It's a shame. That's the best racecar we've got and, of course, we won't be using it next week. But it doesn't matter. We were giving it our best shot there and we stunk."

After Stewart got his No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac into Martin, Martin took out Ward Burton, who was also rather unamused by the proceedings.

"I don't know," said Burton, driver of the No. 22 Caterpillar Pontiac. "Somebody must have forgotten their bifocals or something, and they just stuffed Mark right in the back. It was very weird. You know, this race is fun and is supposed to be exciting for the spectators, and obviously it's a big deal to try to win it. But at the cost of some of the stuff that was going on out there, I don't know if we're going to run the damn thing next year."

Stewart's night ended soon thereafter when he was involved in another incident, this one precipitated by Joe Nemechek and Steve Park. It also took Jeff Gordon out of the race.

"All I saw in Turn 1 was the 1 car (Park) sideways," Stewart said. "We checked up real good, and I think Jeff (Gordon) was the one that hit us in the back. He didn't have anywhere to go, either. It's just part of one of them wild Saturday night races."

Burton's brother Jeff is also Martin's teammate. He agreed with Stewart's description.

"It was a little wild," Jeff said. "The 20 car was real wild. He caused a couple of incidents and I think he was the biggest culprit. He caused a bunch of stuff. A lot of people had great races and never touched anybody but some people just figure if they hit somebody it doesn't matter. If that's what it takes to win these races, then I'll never win because I wake up in the morning worried about what other people think of me. I guess other people don't." -nascar.com-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ward Burton , Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Steve Park , Joe Nemechek , Mark Martin