Champion's Week: Day 2
November 30, 2011 | 8:46 P.M. EST
Stewart and Newman edged the team of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch by most accurately recalling the estimated attendance of March’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo: Getty Images)
Tony Stewart’s on a roll. And that’s a good feeling when you’re in Las Vegas.
Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Ryan Newman won Wednesday’s “This Ain’t the Newlywed Game,” a riff on the television original hosted by Bob Eubanks. Stewart and Newman edged the team of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch by most accurately recalling the estimated attendance of March’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The game had a myriad of humorous moments – some broad, others ribald – and in some cases more resembled a roast of the top 12 finishers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™.
Stewart, who suggested engineering graduate Newman would be a better driver “if he didn’t think all the time,” got in the final zinger to his teammate’s incorrect answer that he would be the driver the champion most likely would bump out of the way on the final lap to win the race.
“I figured you’d pick me,” said a disappointed Newman. Stewart answered, “There you go thinking again.” Stewart thought Newman’s answer would’ve been “Brian Vickers.”
Carl Edwards said Roush Fenway Racing partner Matt Kenseth would be a better driver “if he didn’t qualify in the back.” Kenseth responded, “Are you kidding me? I beat Ryan Newman for poles this year.” Actually, they both won three Coors Light Poles during the 2011 season.
Kenseth set up Eubanks by telling Edwards his most annoying habit was always being late. Eubanks said, “Even late crossing the finish line” in reference to Edwards’ second-place finish to Stewart in the championship deciding race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“This could be the end of my career,” said Eubanks. “I’m not sure I’ll ever do it again but it’s been fun.”
The Newlywed-style event, held on downtown Las Vegas’ historic Fremont Street Experience, drew several thousand fans. Some carried signs welcoming their favorite drivers.
The six teams were comprised of Stewart/Newman, Hamlin/Kyle Busch, Edwards/Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr./Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon/Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski/Kurt Busch.
There were other activities as well, as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week rolled into its second day working toward Friday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Banquet at Wynn Las Vegas, a signature event that will feature same day coverage (9 p.m. ET) by SPEED, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and MRN Radio.
Travis Pastrana sat for a featured one-on-one interview during Wednesday’s second and final day of the Motorsports Marketing Forum at Caesars Palace. Pastrana noted his recovery process from a broken ankle, which delayed his NASCAR Nationwide Series career, saying, “I actually became a bigger fan and feel like I learned a lot by watching on television.”
Pastrana said the biggest challenge he faces in 2012 is working with crew chief and crew to make the optimum adjustments. “In Rally, if you want to make up time, you can take chances to jump up further,” he said. “In NASCAR, you really have to not only know what the car is doing, but how to relate that.”
Stewart hosts the popular 5th Annual “Stewie Awards” with co-host Matt Yocum at 9:30 p.m. ET Thursday on the SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90. The Stewies honor the best, boldest and funniest moments from the NASCAR season.
Thursday is Champion’s Week longest day with the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon, NASCAR Victory Lap and NASCAR After the Lap on the schedule.