Instead, he went to a Daytona Beach hospital to visit fans injured during Saturday's Nationwide Series race, when a terrible crash on the last lap scattered debris into the stands.
Stewart, who won the race in which the crash occurred, spent more than two hours visiting the six patients still hospitalized at Halifax Health and interacted at length with five of them, according to Stewart-Haas Racing spokesman Mike Arning.
The driver gave each patient an autographed hat from sponsor Bass Pro Shops that he personalized in their presence, Arning said.
Stewart's visit was not intended to be public, but word began to leak via Twitter on Monday afternoon. (USA Today)