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Obama praises NASCAR champ Tony Stewart

Tuesday - 4/17/2012, 5:32pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is praising NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart for "one of the most dramatic finishes that we have ever seen."

Obama welcomed Stewart and other top NASCAR drivers to the White House to celebrate Stewart's come-from-behind championship, his third title. The president noted Stewart nearly wrote off the season during the summer but charged back to win five races in the post-season and edge Carl Edwards.

Stewart and Edwards tied in the final Sprint Cup Series standings, but Stewart won the title based on his five victories. Obama credited Edwards for handling "disappointment with grace and class."

Obama got to admire red and black versions of Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet Impala. The president says "every year I try to take a lap. Nobody lets me do it."


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)