Woman arrested for allegedly stalking, threatening former NASCAR star Tony Stewart

NASCAR: Ford EcoBoost 400
Stewart retired from driving following the 2016 season. USATSI

A Florida woman was arrested this week for allegedly stalking and harassing former NASCAR driver Tony Stewart for over a year. 

Kathi Russell, 68, was reportedly upset with Stewart after he failed to provide her with an autograph at a racing event, which prompted her string of alleged threatening criminal behavior towards Stewart and his family. According to Indiana court records, charges were filed against Russell last week and she is facing felony charges of stalking, terroristic mischief, violating a protective order, and intimidation lasting from March 2016 through October 2017. 

If that doesn't sound serious enough, the details of her alleged actions bring the level of creepy to another level.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case, Russell made hundreds of anonymous calls to Stewart and his mother and sister at all times of the day and night over that period.

In some of the calls, according to the affidavit, nothing was heard on the line. In others, Russell allegedly played an audio clip saying, "We Came, we saw, he died" – a soundbite by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi – followed by "maniacal laughter." In others, a clip from the Talking Heads song "Psycho Killer" would play.

Russell is also accused of placing an anonymous phone call reporting that a plane landing in Fort Worth, Texas, would be transporting narcotics. Investigators determined the plane was occupied by Stewart, and that the call was a false report that came from Russell.

When Stewart's mother took out a restraining order against Russell, the alleged stalker sent an envelop filled with "an unknown white powdery substance" -- later determined to be baking soda -- to the law firm that issued the protection order, sparking an Anthrax scare and evacuation at the building where the law offices are located. 

The 46-year-old Stewart, who retired as a driver in 2016 but still co-owns and manages the Stewart-Haas Racing team, declined to comment on the case, according to RTV6. Meanwhile, Russell remains in custody in Florida as she awaits extradition to Indiana.

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories