Racing world hails Stewart ahead of final NASCAR race (VIDEO)

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Whether from the world of open-wheel, NASCAR, dirt tracks or sports cars, the racing world is saying thank you and farewell to Tony Stewart ahead of his final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

In the above video from Mobil 1, released by Mobil 1 The Grid, AJ Allmendinger, Kevin Harvick, Jenson Button, Danica Patrick and Donny Schatz all thank Stewart for the memories of his career and for the guidance he’s passed on to them.

“He’s had an very impressive career, he’s been racing forever! Probably since he could walk,” Button recalled, as he too is set to pause his F1 career at year’s end, and as Mobil 1 is set to leave McLaren at year’s end.

“He doesn’t do just NASCAR and Sprint Cup, but dirt buggies and whatever he can get his hands on. He’ll still be racing, with a bit less pressure.”

Before moving into NASCAR full-time in 1999, Stewart won the 1996-1997 Indy Racing League championship, and the USAC triple crown in 1995.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).