– The Associated Press

LONG POND, Pa. – Smoke was on a hot streak at the free-throw line.

Tony Stewart, the pole-sitter for the Sprint Cup race today at Pocono Raceway, got a chance to show his basketball skills during a recent appearance at Syracuse University. He teamed Wednesday with Coach Jim Boeheim for a shooting contest.

Stewart, a two-time Sprint Cup champion, called the visit “really cool,” though he did admit to being a little rattled on the basketball court.

“It’s pretty intimidating when you go to somebody else’s venue and you’re in their house and then get in a competition with them,” Stewart said.

Stewart, who is from Columbus, Ind., banked some basketball credibility for when he returns to his basketball-crazy home state.

“I’m happy to say that we tied four out of five on the free-throw side, so I held my own as an Indiana kid,” Stewart said. “Hopefully now when I go back to Indiana, I won’t get thrown out for not being good at basketball.”

Stewart also had to deal this year with finding a new sponsor for Old Spice, which won’t renew its deal after this season. He hasn’t been too involved on that front yet.

“Keep in mind, every race team has a marketing staff and that marketing staff is who is out trying to get the leads on sponsors, and once they get so far down the road with each sponsor, that’s when I get involved,” Stewart said. “Every major race team has a marketing staff that is out there beating those doors down before it gets to my level.”