Defending WGI Champ Stewart Turns in Fire-Suit for Gym Sneakers

Tony Stewart and Jim Boeheim Shoot Hoops with Fans at the Carmelo Anthony Basketbal Center on the Syracuse University Campus

Stewart and Boeheim

Tony Stewart and Jim Boeheim exchanged jersey before shooting some hoops with fans and assembled media.

Defending Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen champion Tony Stewart hit the hardwood floors of the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center with Syracuse University coach Jim Boeheim to live a basketball dream on Wednesday, July 28.  The Indiana native passed on basketball as a youth to pursue his racing goals but Coach Boeheim helped Stewart and four WGI fans work-on their lay-up, shooting, and free throw skills.  The mini basketball camp occurred in the morning and was followed by an exclusive Meet and Greet between Stewart and approximately 40 long-time WGI ticket holders in the afternoon.  Stewart will defend his title during the 25th Running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at WGI on Sunday, August 8 and Boeheim will serve as the grand marshal for the Zippo 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, August 7.   

The day started with Stewart and Boeheim meeting at the “Melo Center” and sharing various stories with Michael Printup, president of Watkins Glen International, and the media in attendance.  The two then exchanged jerseys; Stewart received a No. 14 Syracuse basketball jersey with “Stewart” on the back and Boeheim received an Office Depot/Old Spice fire-suit top with “Boeheim” on the back.  Boeheim then took control of the gym and started running Stewart, Printup, and four fans through shooting drills.  The group took turns taking shots from the edge of the key by the foul line and then 12-footers from the baseline.  The mini basketball camp culminated with a free throw contest.  All four fans that participated received pit tour passes for the morning of Sunday, August 8 and the winner also received a basketball autographed by both Boeheim and Stewart, two passes to pre-race ceremonies and Gatorade Victory Lane for the Zippo 200 and Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen during the race weekend.  The day ended with Stewart answering questions, expressing his thoughts about the latest happenings in NASCAR, and sharing some of his favorite stories from his career in motorsports.

“It was nice to meet Tony. He is a nice guy especially for being from Indiana,” Jim Boeheim stated jokingly.  “I’m so glad we tied and that he didn’t beat me during our free throw shooting contest.  If he had won, I wouldn’t have been able to show my face at the track next week.”

Tony Stewart said, “It is always nice to do something away from the racetrack. I was pretty happy the other guys didn’t embarrass me by making all of their shots. Watkins Glen International did a great job today, especially by getting the fans involved.” 

While the sports in which Stewart and Boeheim compete are very different, the two share one thing that connects them both – their eagerness to get to WGI for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen event weekend, August 5-8.  

“I am looking forward to coming down to The Glen,” said Boeheim.  “I have been in the area many times and have family in Penn Yan, but this will be my first time there (the track) so it will be fun.” 

“The Glen is one of the races that is always circled on the schedule,” said Stewart.  “I love the difference between road courses and ovals and of course winning always makes it easier to come back. “ 

The 2-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion has won a record five times at The Glen since joining the series in 1999.   His victory in 2009 broke a tie with 4-time WGI champion Jeff Gordon for the most career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins at the legendary road course.  

Tickets for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Zippo 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series and Crown Royal 200, Rolex Sports Car Series races, August 5-8 are still available.  Fans can purchase tickets by calling the Watkins Glen International ticket office at 866-461-RACE (7223) or logging on to the official website, or at the Information Center of Corning located on Market Street, in downtown Corning, NY.  Tickets, gift certificates and track merchandise can all be purchased at The Shop located at 2 North Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen.  The Shop is open Monday-Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 9-4.

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