Obama honors Sprint Cup drivers at White House

Washington, DC (WWBT)- 2011 Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and the other eleven drivers that made up the Chase for the Sprint Cup field were honored by America's first sports fan on Tuesday afternoon.

President Barack Obama recognized all 12 drivers that advanced to Nascar's postseason, including Chesterfield native Denny Hamlin, but nobody received more praise that Stewart.  Obama talked about his championship that featured four wins in the final ten races and even joked with Stewart about his harsh treatment of the media at times.

After the ceremony at the White House, Richmond International Raceway officials held a party for Stewart.  RIR president Dennis Bickmeier and several fans who won the chance to meet Stewart were among the guests.  Smoke was asked about racing at Richmond in two weeks, and he talked about how it was his favorite stop of the season. Stewart has three wins at the venue, but has not tasted victory lane there since 2002.  He has top ten finishes in 17 of his 26 starts at RIR.

Stewart and the Sprint Cup drivers make their ways to Kansas for the next race on Saturday.

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