TONY STEWART ENTERS HOME DEPOT "TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX" AT IRWINDALE Tony Stewart, the only driver in history to sweep USAC's "Triple Crown," will compete in the 59th Home Depot "Turkey Night Grand Prix" MCI WorldCom Midget Car race ...
TONY STEWART ENTERS HOME DEPOT "TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX" AT IRWINDALE
Tony Stewart, the only driver in history to sweep USAC's "Triple Crown," will compete in the 59th Home Depot "Turkey Night Grand Prix" MCI WorldCom Midget Car race November 25 at the Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway.
Stewart, winner of last Sunday's Checker Auto Parts/Dura Lube 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Phoenix, Ariz., will drive one of three Steve Lewis-entered Ford/Wynn's/ASE/Beast/Performance Racing Industry Pink Ford-powered machines as a teammate to series point leader Jason Leffler and USAC Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car Champion Dave Darland.
"I'm excited to come back," said Stewart of his return to the Midget Cars after a 14-month hiatus. "It's hard not to run as many different cars as I used to, but it's a great opportunity to come out of 'retirement.' I've only seen Irwindale on television so I'm not sure how to prepare for the track, but Bob East, who will be my chief mechanic, has been very successful there, so I'll just show up and drive." Dave Steele won in a Lewis/East machine at Irwindale in the March track opener and Leffler has won there twice since.
Stewart's last USAC appearance came in September of 1998 at the 16th Street Speedway in Indianapolis where he finished 17th.
This will mark Tony's fourth "Turkey Night" appearance. In 1993 he finished seventh at Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway, was 21st the following year, then finished seventh again in the 1995 classic, all at Bakersfield.
Tony will be trying for a seventh consecutive outdoor USAC Midget Car victory on the pavement. His last six starts produced victories at Phoenix, Ariz. and Charlotte, N.C. in 1998, Phoenix and Indianapolis Raceway Park in 1997 and Kansas City, KS and Indianapolis Raceway Park in 1996. In all, he owns 23 career USAC National Midget wins.
In 1995, Stewart won all three of USAC's primary National championships - Silver Bullet, Sprint Car and Midget Car, repeating his Midget Car championship of the previous year.
The "Turkey Night Grand Prix" is the anchor event of a three-race conclusion to the 1999 USAC MCI WorldCom National/Western Midget Car campaign, including races at Bakersfield Speedway November 20 and Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Ariz. November 27. The Home Depot "Turkey Night" feature will be a 100-lapper on the 1/2-mile paved oval.