Tony Stewart’s weekend starts off with having phone stolen

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HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Tony Stewart’s final weekend as a Sprint Cup driver began … with having his cell phone stolen.

The three-time series champion has been without one since Thursday when it was taken. He expects to have a new one Saturday.

“It’s been a hell of a start to the weekend to get your phone stolen,’’ said Stewart, who will make his final NASCAR Sprint Cup start Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “Probably the biggest thing that was disappointing when I realized my phone was stolen was the fact that I was in the process of answering text messages from people. I got a flood of text messages.

“I think I’m going to have a phone by (Saturday) and I’m sure it’s going to be absolutely crazy when I turn it back on.’’

So what happened?

He was with his girlfriend and went to a carnival in the Miami area when it was taken.

“We were just getting ready to leave when I realized it wasn’t in my pocket,’’ Stewart said of his phone. “We had bumped into some people right before that and I’m fairly certain that’s when it decided to go a different direction.’

They still had his girlfriend’s phone and used it to try to track down his phone.

“They have that find iPhone app and we went chasing people forever trying to find it until we realized they were in the parking lot and they got in the car and they were gone,’’ Stewart said.“I hit block on it and deleted it. Now I’ve got to get a new phone, which is devastating because I do everything on my cell phone. My life is on that cell phone. I start my life over (Saturday).’’