This is the Statt Mann, baby.   Time to Scatt a little bit.

We’re hearing the sports cliché “Heart of a Champion…” quite a bit after USC’s dramatic win at Notre Dame Saturday night.

But we saw The Heart of a Champion a couple hours later in Charlotte where former Cup champion Tony Stewart had the field covered on his way to a critical NASCAR playoff win.

Stewart had the fastest car on the track when he got caught up in this weekend’s Lowe’s Motor Speedway tire insanity and crashed.

Stewart was knocked from the race lead to the back of the line and out of the spotlight, a condition that sent lesser drivers to the showers earlier this year.

Instead, Tony battled back from 35th where he COULD have finished to 25th where he DID, a difference of 35 points.  When last year’s championship was decided by eight points, 35 could be huge in a couple weeks.

It’s why his crew would follow Tony up any hill facing any enemy fire.  And it’s why Tony Stewart has The Heart of a Champion.