Tony Stewart drives the #14 Bass Pro Shop car in The Sprint Cup Series in NASCAR. He is also the co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing which owns his car (of course!), the #39 car driven by Ryan Newman, and the #10 GoDaddy.com car driven by Danica Patrick. Tony has many racing accomplishments under his belt including three Sprint Cup Championships.
I started following NASCAR racing in 1999. I married my race fanatic husband in July, 1998. The remainder of that race season was spent with my husband trying to get me to watch the races with him and me resisting as much as I could. By the time the 1999 season began, I had become hooked, somewhat, on racing. We watched the races almost every week. He was a Dale Earnhardt fan and I didn’t know anything about any of the drivers. If I was going to be watching the races every week, I decided I needed someone to root for as well. I had heard of Dale but I didn’t want to pick him. I wanted a rivalry between my husband and I. But how would I pick someone. My husband tried to explain ‘stuff’ to me but it all sounded pretty Greek to me. He told me of other drivers he liked but I wanted someone of my own.
So I picked a driver to root for the only way I knew how. First I have to say, my favorite color is purple and there were no purple race cars. If there had been, I would be rooting for that driver now. I was watching the race one Sunday and the announcer was talking about ‘rookie’ Tony Stewart. I announced to my husband, I am going to root for Tony Stewart. When he asked my why I picked him, my answer was ‘He’s a rookie and so am I.’ I have been a Tony Stewart fan ever since. I made an excellent choice.
Tony’s hometown is Columbus, IN — approximately a three hour drive from Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH which Tony now owns. I have not yet had the pleasure of watching the races at Eldora even though my husband promised throughout our short lived marriage we would go. But I will make it there some day!
Tony has made the racing world an exciting place, winning awards and championships in every style of car he ever raced in. He is a skilled driver winning three Spring Cup Championships. The latest championship came in 2011 where he tied Carl Edwards in the number of points but was given the championship based on the number of victories. It seems that at age 42, Tony’s whole life is revolved around racing. He still races in the 410 Winged Sprint Car Series when time permits.
Before coming to NASCAR, Tony raced in the Indy Car series and was as much of a sensation there as he is now in NASCAR. It was in his rookie year with NASCAR that he drove in the Indy 500 in Indianapolis, IN, where he finished ninth, boarded a helicopter to fly to the Charlotte Motor Speedway to compete in the Coca Cola 600 finishing fourth. He was the first driver to compete in both races on the same day. He raced over a thousand miles that day. What dedication to the sport. Or was it just plain craziness. Either way, it was pretty exciting.
You can visit the official Stewart-Haas Racing website to find out more about Tony, Ryan, and Danica.
Are you a NASCAR fan? Who is your favorite driver?