On Friday night at the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tony Stewart crossed over into the grandstands to confront a heckling fan.
Video emerged from the incident with fans shouting in defense of the driver, who got directly in the face of the fan in question. Stewart’s escort then shoves the heckler down after he gets a little too close for comfort as Smoke stood over top of the man.
One of the videos reveals the fan screaming, “I don’t like you!” to Stewart after reportedly giving him the middle finger. Stewart’s response is calling the fan a “p***y,” but never came to blows with him. That led to the fan shoving Stewart before getting brushed back.
Tony Stewart with the fan that flipped home off! pic.twitter.com/kBpbpbMkGl
— Kyle Slader (@KyleSlader19) January 16, 2016
— Kyle Bonsignore (@kbonsignore22) January 16, 2016
Smoke’s brash attitude didn’t go away after he left the grandstands.
UPDATE: The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the heckler, who is reportedly a corporal in the county, after Friday night’s incident, per Tulsa World. Deputy Justin Green reports the man in question is Kyle Hess, an off-duty officer at the event.
“We’re all held to a higher standard, even off duty,” Green told Tulsa World.
Green also went on to say that the investigation is too early in the process for any speculation about punishment for the actions. The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement Friday about the confrontation.
The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office takes seriously the conduct of its employees, whether on duty or off duty.
While we respect our employees’ rights to free speech, we also expect all of our employees to follow the TCSO’s Code of Ethics which each pledges to uphold as part of their employment and to set an example at all times.
Stewart has a long history at the Chili Bowl, winning the event twice in 2002 and 2007. The Stewart-Haas Racing owner also helped prep the track for the week and main events.
However, Stewart has also faced tragedy in the past when it comes to sprint car racing. After breaking his leg in 2013 and being involved in the death of Kevin Ward in 2014, Stewart announced 2016 would be his swan song in NASCAR.
Hopefully for his fans, Stewart can brush this off and put on a show at the Daytona 500. Despite winning four races at the illustrious track, he’s never taken home the Harley J. Earl Trophy.