Taking Care of Business: Apparently, The “Smoke” Has Risen Again
BY DAVE GRAYSON
Every NASCAR fan in the world is certainly aware that driver, team owner and three time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart has been undergoing physical therapy due to a broken leg sustained this past August following a sprint car accident. In turn, Stewart is well aware, and appreciative, of the outpouring of love and well wishes he has received from the fans while undergoing his treatments.
Recently Stewart just received another major insight into just how strong his fan base really is and apparently the “Smoke” has risen again. While he was recuperating, as well as taking care of business as a co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, NASCAR was conducting a world wide social media contest which allowed fans to vote for which driver they wanted on the cover of the new, soon to be released, “NASCAR ’14 video game. This contest, known as “The Drive For The Cover” campaign, garnered a whopping 700,000 plus votes worldwide and, when the votes were counted, Stewart was declared the winner. Stewart has appeared on the cover of the officially licensed NASCAR game twice before, but this is the first time he was selected by fans.
It was clear early on that Stewart was going to be hard to defeat. During the five-week contest, conducted entirely on “Facebook”, Stewart dominated each round of the competition. Stewart’s closest opposition came in the final round against another fan favorite, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon. Stewart accumulated nearly one-fifth of all the votes cast during the “Drive for the Cover” campaign.
Upon learning of the latest honor in his storied career, a very grateful Stewart said “being selected by the fans to be on the cover of “NASCAR ‘14″is a huge honor.” It’s been a long couple of months, but my fans’ passion has been one of the driving factors in helping me rehab and my ability to prepare for returning to the race car in February.”
“In the midst of a racing season cut short by injury, the number of fans who voted for Tony speaks volumes about the excitement surrounding his return,” said Blake Davidson, NASCAR vice president of licensing and consumer products. “For a campaign that was heavily driven by social media, the more than 700,000 votes cast in the ‘Drive for the Cover’ campaign is a testament to the social media prowess of our industry and fans.”
“NASCAR ‘14″ is scheduled for release in early 2014 on the PlayStation® 3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® games and entertainment system from Microsoft, for the suggested retail price of $49.99.