NASCAR Drivers Council money donated to Autism Delaware
By AMANDA VINCENT
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner/driver Tony Stewart and the Sprint Cup Series Driver Council have made, or is in the process of making, a $35,000 donation to Autism Delaware, according to Stewart.
The roots of the donation come from a penalty NASCAR issued Stewart because of Stewart’s expression with displeasure over the sanctioning body’s decision in 2015 to stop enforcement of a rule mandating the tightening of all five lug nuts on race wheels. NASCAR has since gone back to the mandate.
After the announcement of the $35,000 penalty, driver Denny Hamlin, who, along with Stewart, is a member of the Drivers Council, announced that the other members of the Council had collectively decided to pay Stewart’s penalty as a statement that the membership believed drivers should be able to voice their opinions.
Stewart returned to Sprint Cup competition as a driver at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on April 24 after being sidelined by injuries sustained in an off-season all-terrain vehicle accident. Prior to the Richmond race, Stewart told a FOX-TV reporter that he would pay the fine himself and donate the money from the Drivers Council to Autism Delaware. NASCAR also issued a statement that the fine would not be accepted from the Drivers Council, instead it must come directly from Stewart.
Earlier this week, Stewart released a statement officially confirming the donation of the Drivers Council money to Autism Delaware.
“I appreciated the Drivers Council support, but I didn’t want them to pay the fine. We decided as a group to donate the money to charity,” Stewart said. “Artie (Kempner, FOX Coordinating Director) is such a good friend to all of us, and his foundation does a lot of great work.”
Kempner is the founder of Autism Delaware.