Tony Stewart is one of the more polarizing figures in NASCAR, with many fans of the sport loving the Stewart-Haas team owner, and others disliking him strongly. Stewart recently volunteered his time to drive the tractor at the River Spirit Expo Center dirt track for the Chili Bowl Nationals, where he unfortunately ran into someone who was on the hate side of the fence in regards to his fandom.
According to Motorsport.com, Kyle Hess, a police officer with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, was watching qualifying for the Chili Bowl Nationals this past Friday when he began shouting obscenities at Stewart. After putting up with him for some time, Stewart walked into the grandstands to confront a seemingly inebriated Hess, who stated “I don’t like you and I never have,” as Stewart approached.
As a cell phone video of the incident shows, Stewart walked up to Hess and placed his hands on his shoulders. Hess then fell after being pushed by another individual and was confronted by Stewart once again. Dennis Larsen, the police liaison for the Tulsa Expo Raceway, described the incident to Motorsport.com as a “non-deal.”
“Any time you have NASCAR, you have NASCAR fans and you have passionate drivers,” Larsen said. “The drivers are great about coming into the crowd. They take selfies with the fans.
They allow fans to take pictures with them next to the car. This one, particular fan didn’t like Tony Stewart and had been using colorful language, yelling at Tony every time he came by. Tony finally went up into the stands and they got face to face.”
The Tulsa County Sheriffs Office said they were only investigating the incident as it involved one of their employees. Stewart’s public relations representatives didn’t respond to a Motorsport.com request for comment on the matter, nor did NASCAR officials.