Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fast Facts Redux: Tony Stewart

Stewart at Darlington Raceway, Sept. 6, 2015
Credit: Charlotte Bray/Skirts and Scuffs
Three-time Sprint Cup Series champ Tony Stewart is the driver of the No. 14 Chevrolet SS and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, also the home of Kevin Harvick, Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch. Learn more about the 1999 Cup Series Rookie of the Year in this revisited Fast Facts, originally published in March 2011.
  • Anthony Wayne Stewart was born May 20, 1971 in Columbus, Indiana. He raced go-karts, earning a World Karting Association title in 1987, and three-quarter midgets before moving up to USAC, where he took Rookie of the Year honors in 1991. In 1994, Stewart won the USAC Midget title, and in 1995, he completed the USAC “Triple Crown” – winning the Midget, Sprint Car, and Silver Crown titles; he was the first driver to win all three in one season.
  • Stewart raced in the Indy Racing League when it was founded in 1996 and won championship in 1997. During those years, he also saw limited action in NASCAR, completing in the Busch (now Xfinity) Series and the Craftsman (now Camping World) Truck Series. In 1998, he moved to Joe Gibbs Racing, impressing Gibbs enough that Stewart signed on for a full-time ride in the Cup Series with JGR starting in 1999.
  • In ten years at Joe Gibbs Racing (1999 to 2008), Stewart won 33 races and two titles (2002 and 2005). He split from JGR after the 2008, having purchased half of Haas-CNC Racing. The newly-named Stewart-Haas Racing, pairing Stewart with fellow Hoosier Ryan Newman, earned its first win at the Sprint All-Star Race in May 2009, following that with Stewart’s first points win as an owner/driver at Pocono in June of that year. In 2011, Stewart won his third Cup Series title and first as an owner.
  • In 2013, Stewart – a big proponent of sprint car and dirt track racing – broke his leg while moonlighting at a sprint car race in Iowa in August; he missed the rest of the season recovering. In August 2014, Stewart – in one of his first races back in a sprint car since the injury – was involved in an on-track incident that resulted in the death of another driver, Kevin Ward Jr.; Stewart missed three races in the aftermath.
  • Stewart twice attempted “Double Duty” – competing in the Indy 500 and Coca Cola 600 in the same day. In 1999, he finished ninth at Indy and fourth at Charlotte, completing 1,090 of 1,100 possible miles. In 2001, he successfully completed the “Double,” placing sixth at Indy and third at Charlotte, and running all 1,100 miles.
  • Stewart is the owner of Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, and co-owns two other dirt tracks; he also purchased the All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series in Jan. 2015. Stewart also owns Tony Stewart Racing, which fields cars in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series.
  • Founded in 2003, the Tony Stewart Foundation raises money to help car for chronically ill children, drivers injured in motorsports activities, and numerous animal-related funds.
  • Find out more about Tony Stewart at www.tonystewart.com

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