Skip to content

Dale Jarrett talks with Tony Stewart: ‘He made the right decision’ not to race Sunday

Aug 10, 2014, 1:28 PM EST

(Photo: Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images) Getty Images

As can be imagined in a situation such as Saturday night’s tragedy at Canandaigua Speedway in upstate New York that claimed the life of young race car driver Kevin Ward Jr., Tony Stewart did not choose to speak with the general media Sunday morning at Watkins Glen International.

But Stewart did speak privately to at least one high-profile member of the media – who also happens to be a former driver/champion and a NASCAR Hall of Famer – but more as friend-to-friend than athlete-to-reporter.

That was ESPN analyst Dale Jarrett.

To his credit, Jarrett put his brief meeting with Stewart in context during the network’s pre-race show about an hour before the green flag dropped for the Cheez-It 355 at WGI.

Said Jarrett:

“I did speak to Tony as a friend. My conversation with Tony was just to let him know that he had many friends like myself and an entire community that was thinking about Tony, he’s in our thoughts and prayers, and we all love and support him.

“We all go through challenges in our life. We don’t know sometime why these challenges are put in front of us and face us, but that he had all of us to lean on in a most difficult time.

“I’m fortunate to call Tony Stewart a good friend, and I was honored that he would take a little bit of time to be there, and I could be there with him this morning, just as a friend, wanting to let him know I am here if there is anything I can do.

“It was basically Tony’s decision that he did that (decided not to race in Sunday’s event at The Glen). After you think about things, that you realize that this is the right thing.

“That was the last thing I told Tony – other than that I loved him like a brother – that he made the right decision. He didn’t need my reassurance, he knew that he made the right decision, and it was the only decision. And Tony Stewart is that type of person and showed that once again.”

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Latest Posts
  1. F1 Paddock Pass: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (VIDEO)

    Nov 20, 2014, 4:24 PM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Previews Getty Images

    All the latest from the ground in Abu Dhabi from NBCSN’s Will Buxton in this week’s “Paddock Pass.”

  2. The F1 champ is crowned on NBCSN from Abu Dhabi this weekend

    Nov 20, 2014, 4:18 PM EST

    AUTO-PRIX-F1-ABU-DHABI-PRACTICE Getty Images

    TV times, title outlooks for this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

  3. Watch NASCAR America LIVE 5 pm ET: Wildest, most unpredictable moments of 2014

    Nov 20, 2014, 3:09 PM EST

    nascar america

    If you like wild, crazy and unpredictable, you won’t want to miss Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America, airing LIVE at 5 pm ET on NBCSN.

  4. NASCAR Minute: Most unexpected event in 2014?

    Nov 20, 2014, 2:31 PM EST

    (AP Photo/Matthew Bishop) AP

    In this edition of NASCAR Minute, Rick Allen and Kyle Petty talk about the wackiest things they saw this race season.

  5. Alonso: My next move won’t be a surprise for anybody

    Nov 20, 2014, 2:30 PM EST

    Fernando Alonso AP

    After his departure from Ferrari was announced today, Alonso drops the biggest hint yet that he will be driving for McLaren in 2015.

  6. Without Chase format, Jeff Gordon would have won championship, not Kevin Harvick

    Nov 20, 2014, 2:21 PM EST

    If the championship would have been determined strictly on points earned in 2014, Jeff Gordon would have beaten Joey Logano and actual champ Kevin Harvick this season. (AP Photo/Terrry Renna) AP

    What would the final 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings look like if there had been no Chase format? Would Kevin Harvick still have finished No. 1? You might be surprised.

  7. Danica Patrick’s 2015 paint scheme revealed, featuring GoDaddy colors

    Nov 20, 2014, 1:00 PM EST

    (Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Getty Images

    New paint scheme for Danica Patrick’s No. 10 in 2015.

  8. Will the weight of expectation prove to be too great for Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi?

    Nov 20, 2014, 12:00 PM EST

    Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg AP

    Gunning for his second world championship, Hamilton can be sure of the title by finishing second in Abu Dhabi – but will the pressure get to him?

  9. Stevens’ initial outing a rarity in modern F1: an in-year debut

    Nov 20, 2014, 11:35 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Italy - Practice Getty Images

    How will Will Stevens’ debut go? He’s in a rare spot, making an in-season debut.

  10. Alonso changes helmet, Williams alters livery, other minor changes for Abu Dhabi GP

    Nov 20, 2014, 11:00 AM EST

    © Williams Racing © Williams Racing

    A few little things to look out for during this weekend’s race in Abu Dhabi.

  11. NASCAR: Kahne extension shouldn’t alter Chase Elliott’s future timeline

    Nov 20, 2014, 10:45 AM EST

    DAV 200 - Honoring America's Veterans Getty Images

    Kasey Kahne’s arrival shouldn’t change the arrival of Chase Elliott at Hendrick Motorsports, but it may change the date.

  12. Gutierrez targeting F1 reserve role at a top team in 2015

    Nov 20, 2014, 10:30 AM EST

    Esteban Gutierrez AP

    Mexican driver admits trying to take a step down out of a race seat for 2015 is a risk, but feels it is the best move for his future.

  13. Matthew Brabham to make Formula E race debut with Andretti

    Nov 20, 2014, 10:15 AM EST

    Milwaukee IndyFest - Day 1 Getty Images

    Matthew Brabham replaces Charles Pic in FE this weekend.

  14. With Vettel, Alonso, Mercedes and Renault all on the move, Abu Dhabi will mark the end of an era in F1

    Nov 20, 2014, 10:00 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Previews Getty Images

    Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull and Lotus will be very different teams in 2015.

  15. Kasey Kahne signs Hendrick extension through 2018

    Nov 20, 2014, 9:50 AM EST

    GoBowling.com 400 - Practice Getty Images

    Kasey Kahne re-ups with Hendrick for three more years.

  16. Perez hoping for Force India confirmation soon

    Nov 20, 2014, 9:00 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Brazil Getty Images

    Mexican driver all but certain to stay with Force India for 2015, with the finer details of his contract being ironed.

  17. Ocon and Fong set to take part in Abu Dhabi GP practice

    Nov 20, 2014, 8:30 AM EST

    © Lotus F1 Team © Lotus F1 Team

    FIA F3 champion Ocon will run for Lotus in FP1 on Friday at Yas Marina; Fong will take part for Sauber.

  18. MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: Abu Dhabi GP

    Nov 20, 2014, 8:00 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Previews Getty Images

    The MST writing team makes its final predictions of the 2014 F1 season – will it be Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg who is crowned champion in Abu Dhabi?

  19. 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Preview

    Nov 20, 2014, 7:30 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Previews Getty Images

    It’s the showdown at sundown – will Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg be crowned Formula 1 world champion on Sunday in Abu Dhabi?

Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. K. Harvick (2109)
  2. R. Newman (1845)
  3. J. Gordon (1841)
  4. J. Logano (1673)
  5. J. Johnson (1609)
  1. D. Hamlin (1594)
  2. M. Kenseth (1572)
  3. B. Keselowski (1410)
  4. K. Larson (1348)
  5. C. Bowyer (1134)