Tony Stewart goes to Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C., (Oct. 22, 2003) - Reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart traveled to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday where he joined NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne in a speaking engagement at the National Press Club ...

WASHINGTON, D.C., (Oct. 22, 2003) - Reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart traveled to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday where he joined NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne in a speaking engagement at the National Press Club Luncheon.

The National Press Club has been a Washington staple since 1908, whose members have included 17 consecutive Presidents of the United States - from Theodore Roosevelt to Bill Clinton. The National Press Club holds an average of 70 luncheons a year, and it was during Tuesday's luncheon where Stewart became only the second race car driver to ever speak at the National Press Club, as the late Dale Earnhardt was invited as a guest speaker in 1998.

"It was an honor to speak at the National Press Club," said Stewart, who drives the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing. "The list of people who had spoken before me was impressive. Earnhardt, of course, was a familiar name, but so were names like George Bush and Jimmy Carter."

Stewart gave the National Press Club audience an overview of his career, from racing go-karts in Indiana at age eight to earning the Winston Cup championship at age 31. He then joined Pyne in a question and answer session that featured tough questions ranging from his dealings with the media to safety in NASCAR.

"Tony did a great job and represented NASCAR very well," said Pyne, who delivered a lengthy speech on the growth of NASCAR before introducing Stewart. "He's a great driver who has handled his role of champion extremely well. His time at the National Press Club was proof-positive of that."

Other notable National Press Club lecturers have included actor Tom Hanks, newly elected California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, director Oliver Stone, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Stewart and Pyne's speeches, as well as their question and answer session, were broadcast live on C-SPAN, National Public Radio and NASCAR Radio on XM Satellite Radio.

-jgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Tony Stewart
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing