Tony Stewart Jokes About Helmet Throw But Says, 'I Don't Enjoy Getting Mad Like That'

Tony Stewart said he understands why Saturday night's helmet-toss at Bristol Motor Speedway got so much attention, but he wasn't able to completely share in the humor everyone else seemed to find in the incident.

"I don't enjoy getting mad like that," he told reporters Tuesday in Charlotte. "It doesn't make my day. I wasn't happy when I did it, I wasn't happy when it was over, I wasn't happy when I got home."

But he also acknowledged: "At least it gives (everyone) something to talk about."

Stewart chucked his helmet and hit Matt Kenseth's car after the two drivers tangled and crashed while racing for the lead in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The throw became the most-discussed moment of the race around the country and even internationally.

Naturally, Stewart had a few quips about the incident. Among them:

• "Not bad for a 41-year-old that doesn't work out."

• "(The two-hand throw) was a little unorthodox, but I definitely got a little velocity on it with two (hands)."

• "I can't say I've practiced that much. Maybe I can find some used-up helmets my dad used in his racing career and practice in the backyard like I used to do with baseball."

• He would have given Danica Patrick an "Attaboy!" if she threw her helmet at Regan Smith.

Stewart also said he hasn't gotten his helmet back yet, but it wouldn't be safe to use again in competition anyway. He said about 40 people have asked him for it so far.

The driver was relieved to hear NASCAR did not plan to penalize him for the incident, because he didn't realize helmet-throwing was approved.

"I figured I was going to get some kind of a penalty for it, so that's nice to know that's something you can get away with," he said. "I just wish we could get a more lengthy list of what we can and can't do. It'd be nice to have that list. I think we could make it a lot more entertaining for you all."

As for Kenseth, Stewart said he was able to quickly move past the incident and expected Kenseth would do the same. The two drivers have been racing each other for 15 years and they both know what to expect from the other, he said.

The drivers haven't spoken about the incident, Stewart said, but a conversation isn't necessary. There would be "no big drama" if the two never talked about it, he added.

"I can promise you, we'll probably go out and race each other like we always do," he said. "When you've got 43 guys every week, you're not always going to agree. You're going to disagree at times. This isn't new. This isn't the first time something has happened like this, and it's not the first time it's happened with Matt. It's never really lingered to the next week.

"We still both have teams capable of going out and winning the championship. We can either spend time worrying about him or worrying about trying to win the championship. I'm pretty sure he's thinking the same way."

As for Stewart's comments after the crash that he'd wreck Kenseth at every possible opportunity, Stewart backtracked Tuesday and said he would not specifically target the Roush Fenway Racing driver.

"It's not our intention to go seek him out," he said.

Stewart was giving interviews as part of an event for sponsor Mobil 1 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Fans voted to "Choose Tony's Ride," and they ended up picking a drifting car over a tank (he drove both anyway).

"I was hoping you guys would all stick around when I drove the (tank)," he told reporters. "I wanted to see who is the most athletic of the group. I don't have to catch all of you, I just have to catch the slowest one."

Later, Stewart joked about using the tank for demolition purposes.

"I know how to get to the parking lot from here," he said. "The hard part is I don't know whose car is whose, so I may have to wipe them all out."

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