Columbus shows support for Stewart - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Columbus shows support for Stewart

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Mural of Tony Stewart at Columbus Dairy Queen (WTHR photo) Mural of Tony Stewart at Columbus Dairy Queen (WTHR photo)
COLUMBUS, Ind. -

It may not come as a surprise that residents of Columbus are very supportive of Tony Stewart (his name is on the 'welcome to the city' sign).

In fact, one place in particular has what you might call a long-term relationship with the racing legend. The Dairy Queen has been a big part of his life and it still is, even today.

Bob Franke has been at that Dairy Queen ever since it opened; weathered two expansions and oversaw the painting of the Tony Stewart mural on the wall. He admits the mural needs to be updated to show Stewart as #14 and he is working on that, but he just cant find it in him to part with the original.

"We knew Tony when he was 8," Franke said. "He would come in after racing go carts at the fairgrounds. His dad, mom and sister would all come in after the race on Saturday night."

That sparked a relationship. In fact, Dairy Queen endorsed the 8-year-old's go-cart. That picture is still taped up on the soft drink dispenser.

"From that day on, we always - the Dairy Queen family and the Franke family - has always been big fans of Tony Stewart."

So he got out one of his Tony Stewart t-shirts Monday because he wanted to show everyone that while he is praying for the family of the accident victim, he has not forgotten his town's favorite son.

But not everyone who has an interest in the crash and its aftermath lives in Columbus. In fact, the legal ramifications know no bounds. Click here for more on the major differences when it comes to civil lawsuits in New York as opposed to the same in Indiana.

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