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NASCAR stars say they meant no disrespect for President Obama

From AP:

HAMPTON, Ga. - NASCAR star Tony Stewart scoffed at the notion he turned down an invitation from the White House as some sort of political statement.

Stewart is among four Sprint Cup drivers who say they can't attend next week's meeting with President Obama because of scheduling conflicts. Eight others who made last year's Cup playoff, including five-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson, plan to be there along with NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France.

"Trust me, if we could be there, we'd definitely be there," Stewart said Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "I've always viewed it as an honor just to get an invitation to go. I've enjoyed every trip every time I've gone there. I've learned more and more about it. And it's pretty cool feeling to be with most powerful man in the world. That's not an invitation we take lightly." Full story.