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Bass Pro Shops Founder Releases Statement on Tony Stewart’s Return

On Saturday morning, Bass Pro Shops Founder Johnny Morris released a statement about Tony Stewart’s return to racing. The driver of the No. 14 Chevrolet will make his first start this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway since his involvement in the fatal accident that took Kevin Ward, Jr.’s life three weeks ago.

Today our thoughts are with our friend and fishing buddy Tony Stewart as he prepares to return to racing after what has been a difficult time in his life. Our hearts go out to him and to the family and friends of Kevin Ward Jr., who died in the tragic sprint car event accident on Aug. 9.

I was able to spend time with Tony last week and it made my heart ache to see him so devastated by this accident.

Like many other race fans, I love Tony’s passion and skill on the track and to watch this fierce competitor compete. But the off-track Tony Stewart is the man that I have come to respect. Time and time again, I’ve witnessed Tony’s quiet generosity and compassion as he gives to others. By personally supporting numerous programs like Catch-A-Dream Foundation and Victory Junction, Tony has given many ailing children a chance to experience outdoor sports and have fun opportunities they might not otherwise have.

His love of racing goes far beyond his work behind the wheel. It is common for Tony to sign autographs for each and every race fan for hours on end. Behind the scenes, Tony continually steps in to help junior drivers get started in racing because he cares about the sport and its fans.

What started as a sponsorship discussion between Tony and I 15 years ago has turned into a long and special friendship. It’s a friendship that has given me the opportunity to get to know one of the most compassionate and kind-hearted individuals I have ever met.

On behalf of the Bass Pro Family, and as Tony’s friend, we are proud to stand by him as he returns this weekend to the sport he loves so much.

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About Beth Lunkenheimer

Beth Lunkenheimer
Content Director Beth heads up management of our 30-person staff, acting as Tom’s main assistant with technology and personnel while working as Frontstretch’s Truck Series expert. The author of Truckin’ Thursdays and the coordinator of the site’s pre and post-race coverage, she also runs a periodic charity column that spotlights when NASCAR gives back. A native of Texas, Beth is a 10-year writing veteran who has contributed content to BRANDT and Athlon Sports, among other outlets.

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One comment

  1. Bass Pro Shops can kiss my okele!