KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (AP) Slowly and somberly, Tony Stewart is trying his best to find his new normal.He may never again be the ”Smoke” the racing world knew before Aug. 9, the night a sprint car he was driving struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. at an upstate New York dirt track. The three-time NASCAR champion was fiery on the track, so quick-witted he never lost a verbal spat, and a larger-than-life personality throughout the garage.Stewart, without a doubt, was the heart and soul of NASCAR.Now, some seven weeks after Ward’s death, the driver affectionaly referred to as ”The People’s Champion” is struggling to find his footing. Stewart spent three weeks in seclusion at his Indiana home, and though he returned to racing Aug. 31, he’s been a shell of his former self.He’s incapable of hiding when he’s having a tough day, he wears his emotions all over his body, and he’s not yet comfortable sliding back into his old, familiar routines. Stewart loved racing and women and a good practical joke, and now struggles to relax enough to even smile in public.It made Monday a huge step for Smoke, who held his first news conference since a grand jury decided… Read full this story
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