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Byline: Mike Brudenell
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. _ I think I like Tony Stewart _ his spirit on the track and newfound sense of humor.
Stewart, the defending NASCAR Nextel Cup champion, isn't real fond of the media, and he probably wouldn't know me if he ran me over, which he did to a couple of photographers in his hell-raising days.
When he showed up Thursday at media day at Daytona International Speedway, he was unshaven and as feisty as ever.
Asked how he was feeling, the driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet replied: "I'm conscious, awake and alert."
Stewart, 34, likes to spar with us scribes, and he seems to genuinely have fun with it these days. In the past, before …