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Tony Stewart: Raising Smoke With a Hard Driving Life
August 12th, 2014
04:37 AM ET

Tony Stewart: Raising Smoke With a Hard Driving Life

Tony Stewart's profession is driving for millions of dollars a year in NASCAR races, but his hobby is racing against amateurs on dirt tracks for trophies.

Stewart, 43, started in go-carts when he was just 5 in Columbus, Indiana, 50 miles south of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

He rose through the ranks, winning the Indy Racing League championship in 1997 before moving to NASCAR two years later.

He's won three championships in NASCAR's top series - the Sprint Cup - and he's a co-owner of his racing team.

Other drivers started calling him "Smoke" because that's what they saw coming from his tires as he steered aggressively through turns on asphalt tracks.

While burning rubber wore down tire tread needed late in a race, it added to his reputation as one of the most competitive drivers, both behind the wheel and off the track.

Sponsors pay big bucks to display their logos on Stewart's No. 14 car because they know millions will watch it speed around the big track hundreds of times in a single event, as many as three dozen weekends a year.

His bad-boy antics, the fights and the words, make him stand out among dozens of other personalities in the sport.

Even the fans who boo him are watching. He shows up unshaven on race days in contrast to more polished drivers who are more careful with words and actions to avoid alienating sponsors and fans.

Winning, either on NASCAR's asphalt or unsanctioned dirt, is Stewart's goal. As he sacrifices valuable tire tread for track cred, he also puts great passion into his non-paying hobby, carried out at the risk of his big-money professional driving.

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October 3rd, 2013
05:22 AM ET

AEG Not Liable in Michael Jackson's Death, Jury Finds

A Los Angeles jury decided Wednesday that AEG Live hired Dr. Conrad Murray, but also concluded that the concert promoter was not liable for Michael Jackson's drug overdose death.

The jury decided that Murray was competent, so even though AEG Live hired him, it was not liable for Jackson's death and didn't owe the Jackson family millions of dollars in compensation, CNN's Miguel Marquez reports.

"I counted Michael Jackson a creative partner and a friend," the company's CEO Randy Phillips said. "We lost one of the world's greatest musical geniuses, but I am relieved and deeply grateful that the jury recognized that neither I, nor anyone else at AEG Live, played any part in Michael's tragic death."

The verdict brings the five-month-long trial to a close.

"We have said from the beginning that this case was a search for the truth. We found the truth. AEG hired Dr. Conrad Murray, the man who is in jail for killing Michael Jackson," according to a statement from family matriarch Katherine Jackson and her lawyers. "All options regarding the balance of the jury verdict are being considered."

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