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Continued: Tony Stewart undergoes surgery following Iowa crash; Papis to drive at Watkins Glen

  • Article by: JENNA FRYER , AP Auto Racing Writer
  • Last update: August 8, 2013 - 1:06 AM

Although it sounds cliche, Foyt believes racers want to go out doing what they love.

"Tony is a true racer," Foyt said. "That's one thing I respect about him. A lot of them people go to NASCAR and become a kingpin in one type of car. Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne, they all were sprint car and midget cars drivers first, like Tony, and Tony still is a sprint car driver and it's a shame he got hurt. But I don't see where someone can condemn him for it."

Gordon said it became too difficult for him to juggle various series when he went full-time NASCAR in 1991.

"I was racing Nationwide and Silver Crown and midget sprint cars and it was cool and exciting and fun and everything, but when I got full-time in the Nationwide Series, I just wanted to focus on that," Gordon said. "I tried to do Nationwide and Cup a couple times and I didn't really enjoy going back and forth, but my hats off to the guys that do that and enjoy it and do well with it.

"Sprint cars are to me some of the most exciting and fun race cars there are to drive. Anything that you do, you could put yourself at risk, so I think that he knows the risks versus the rewards and chooses to do that and I think that's awesome and he certainly is very impressive when he gets in them how competitive he is. I certainly look up to him in that way because I raced those guys in sprint cars and know how difficult that is."

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