Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tony takes on the ARMY!

Tony Stewart is use to going 180mph at NASCAR tracks throughout the country every weekend, so a vehicle that only goes 45mph wouldn’t scare him. However, that is false because Tony isn’t use to driving around in an Army tank. On Thursday, Tony Stewart and NHRA driver Tony Schumacher spend the day getting the taste of Army life. The two drivers spent the day firing guns, driving tanks, and getting the chance to meet some of the Army’s finest men. Army tank drivers use electronic displays to give them a readout of the terrain. Stewart and Schumacher got the chance to play with those simulators.

“We’re used to looking out a windshield being able to see what’s going on,” Stewart said. “These guys are using monitors and trusting electronics to guide them along. I can’t imagine being a 19-20 year-old kid doing this.”

Tony’s favorite party of the day was sitting in the Humvee simulator. He was the driver-of course. Stewart decided to chase members of Schumacher’s NHRA team across the training course. The chase included a game of chicken. Care to guess who won?

“We didn’t have a head-on collision, which I think was all driver skill there,” Stewart said. “I think we got a little tired of stationary objects so we were going for the advanced training.”

Other Army training included a stop at Fort Knox’s 50-foot rappelling tower. Schumacher quickly challenged Stewart to join him at the top. Getting there was a challenge. Both drivers had to be fitted with the proper equipment: helmets and rope harnesses. Someone joked with Stewart that he “suck it in.”. Without missing a beat, Stewart came back with “I do it every day to get in the car.”

Neither driver was intimidated by the 50-foot drop. Stewart managed to navigate it as quickly as it takes to get around Bristol Motor Speedway. Schumacher said the teamwork showed by the Army soldiers’ helped him overcome his fear of heights.