TONY STEWART, RACER
self-confidence and willingness to venture
into unfamiliar equipment or territory and
give it a go, because a NASCAR champ has
a target on his back rather than a number.
Between NASCAR, IndyCar and USAC,
Stewart has amassed 104 wins and
captured another 42 in winged sprints,
late model stocks, midgets and IROC. He’s
conquered high-banked pavement like
Salem or Winchester, hard-slickies like
Sante Fe Park, dirt bullrings like Macon,
fast joints like IRP or PIR, and tacky
classics like Williams Grove.
Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500
wins eluded him (second and most laps
led being his best result in the latter, back
in 2004). But two Brickyard 400 wins for
the Columbus, Ind., native and those
three Cup titles add the necessary
marquee moments to his prolific and
diverse roster of successes.
“I know I’m prejudiced and I’m not
gonna say he’s the greatest ever, but I
think he’s one of the greatest,” says senior
Stewart. “He can drive anything under
the sun on any kind of race track. I just
wish he could have run a Formula 1 race.”
The first man to win all three USAC
titles in the same season (1995) did get
to test Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren-
Mercedes at Watkins Glen and showed
plenty of savvy in NASCAR’s road races.
But he’s primarily a short-track guy
whose commitment goes way past his
driving ability. He purchased Eldora
Speedway in 2004 and owns Paducah
Raceway and Macon Speedway. He
bought the Artic Cat All-Star Circuit of
SMOKE’S CUP HIT RATES
Tony Stewart’s NASCAR Cup stats are stout enough, but
the hit rates might have been higher had he not remained
winless on his return from a serious leg break in 2013.
( 48 from
(FAR LEFT) The
kid’s a winner.
(LEFT) 1996-’ 97
IRL title put him on
(BELOW) He earned
two Brickyard 400
wins at Indy, in
2005 and ’07.