Washington, DC – President Barack Obama welcomed reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart at The White House on Tuesday.
During an afternoon ceremony held on the South Lawn, Obama praised Stewart for his dramatic finish in the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Stewart ended the season in a points tie with Carl Edwards but captured his third title in NASCAR's premier series by virtue of his five wins -- all of them in the Chase -- compared to only one for Edwards.
"I invited Tony here today because of what he did on the track," Obama said. "But I was also hoping he would give me some tips on the media, because he's got that quiet, reserved personality, and I was figuring I'd stay out of trouble if Tony gave me some advice on that.
"It's good to see Number 14 [Stewart's car] on the South Lawn. Every year, I try to take a lap. Nobody lets me do it. But I am still holding out hope that, at some point, I'm going to be able to get behind the wheel."
Stewart then showed off his red and black-colored No. 14 Chevrolet to Obama. Stewart's Sprint Cup trophy was on display in front of the car.
"That's what I was worried about when he went over to [the car] and was looking," Stewart said. "That's why I never took the window net down. I can imagine Secret Service coming out of the woodwork as soon as we put him in that car."
Also joining Stewart for the ceremony at The White House were the other 11 drivers in last year's Chase field.