In the short video clip, he watches his orange No. 20 get hit from behind on the massive Daytona International Speedway backstretch, turning it directly toward 200-mph oncoming traffic. As the rear of Stewart's Chevrolet catches air and starts to launch vertically, cars take evasive action.
That's where Stewart pauses the video. He even has a still photograph of this very moment (right).
Just as Stewart's car lifts off the ground -- seconds before he endures violent barrel rolls and smashes into a half-dozen cars -- the black No. 3 Chevrolet escapes through the smoke and frenzy unscathed. Its driver, Dale Earnhardt, heads to the front of the field to contend for the win. As usual.
"That's the part that bothers me the most,'' Stewart explained in an exclusive interview with AOL FanHouse, speaking in depth about that fateful Feb. 18, 2001 afternoon when NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt was killed on the final lap of the Daytona 500.
"It's like, if I could have just nicked him on the way by, would it have changed things just enough to keep his accident later from happening? There's no way anyone would ever wreck and think about hitting someone else believing it would do any good. I was along for the ride.
"Like a parent or, really, any person that loses a loved one, it makes you think of things that aren't realistic, but I always see that picture and think what would have happened if I had clipped him just a little then, would it have changed all this?''
'All this' was the death of a sport's legend and the end of an era for NASCAR. For Stewart, it was the loss of a friend and mentor.
As Michael Waltrip celebrated his first career victory, hundreds of thousands of fans exited the speedway and millions more watched on the television broadcast, all unaware of the awful truth.
Stewart was at Halifax Medical Center across the street from the speedway -- only about a straightaway's length from the famous Daytona track -- nursing a pounding headache and sore ribs after his horrifying crash with 28 laps remaining.
There were no television sets turned on and he had no idea that Waltrip won the race or that Earnhardt had even been in a wreck.
Doctors had given Stewart pain medicine and he had just returned from getting X-rays and a CT scan when he first realized Earnhardt had been transported to the hospital, too, after crashing into the turn 4 wall only a half mile or so from the finish line.
"They pushed me in the door and put me in the same room with him for just a second,'' Stewart recalled. "Then they realized it and pulled me out right away and told me it was Dale in there.
"I was like, 'You could have left me in there. I know him real well, it's okay.'
"They were like, 'No, I don't think so.'
"I didn't know he had passed (yet), but I knew it wasn't good. I was made aware shortly after that what happened. (Dale's wife) Teresa was there and Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) hadn't gotten there yet.
"All you can say is, 'Sorry.' 'I'm sorry.' That's the hardest part.''
Stewart paused, remembering the scene inside the emergency room.
"I don't know Teresa very well, but I can tell you one thing, that's a strong woman. I mean, she lost her best friend, her husband and she was. ...,'' Stewart said, searching for the right words. "At that time, that was the strongest woman I had ever met and she still is to this day as far as I'm concerned. When I saw her and talked to her there. ...I respect her.''
Respect was a major component of Stewart's relationship with Earnhardt. The two joked with one another and Earnhardt always spoke highly of Stewart, who was just starting his third year in the marquee Cup Series after winning the 1997 IndyCar championship and the 1995 USAC Triple Crown.
Both gritty, aggressive, natural talents, they genuinely enjoyed racing door-to-door, but also quickly struck up a friendship away from the track.
"He just goofed around with people like I goof around with people, he was my kind of guy,'' Stewart grinned.
"I remember one race at Darlington and I was all mad about something and he hit me in the back of the head with a chunk of rubber off a car,'' Stewart said. "I remember turning around to see who it was like I was gonna kick some butt and he's just standing there laughing at me. He made me laugh about it.''
It was those times that mean the most to Stewart.
"I'll be honest, and I hope people understand that I do this for the right reasons, but I'll get on YouTube and replay the footage of that day because I don't want to forget,'' Stewart said. "I don't want to forget about who he was.
"He was smart. But it wasn't all racing with him. His life and legacy was built around racing, but I've also seen a perspective of him that 99 percent of his fans didn't even get a chance to see and I'm very thankful for that opportunity.
"I know who he is as champion. But the memory he left with me is not about winning seven championships, not about him intimidating people, but how he inspired people. That's the memory he left for me.''
Stewart remembers being released from the hospital -- still sore and groggy, perhaps mercifully so -- as the sun began to set that evening. A few lingering fans were still walking to their parked cars outside the speedway, many still unaware that a NASCAR icon had passed away and that the sport was forever changed.
The police escort dropped Stewart off at the Daytona Beach International Airport located just beyond the backstretch of the famous speedway -- a couple hundred yards from where Stewart had survived one of the most frightening accidents of his career and where the great Earnhardt had not.
There were two private jets left parked on the tarmac. Stewart climbed into his and looked over as Earnhardt's sat dark and empty -- a void still deeply felt by so many.