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IRL: Tony Stewart to drive for Menard

For Immediate Release USAC TRIPLE CHAMP STEWART NAMED TO IRL RIDE FOR TEAM MENARD INDY 200 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD ENTRY LIST, SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Jan. 19, 1996 -- Tony Stewart, who became the first driver in United States ...

IRL: Tony Stewart to drive for Menard

For Immediate Release

USAC TRIPLE CHAMP STEWART NAMED TO IRL RIDE FOR TEAM MENARD INDY 200 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD ENTRY LIST, SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Jan. 19, 1996 -- Tony Stewart, who became the first driver in United States Auto Club history to win three chanpionships in the same season last year, was named today to a ride with Team Menard for the Indy Racing League season.

Also distributed is an updated entry release for the Indy 200, plus the race week schedule of events. Testing concludes today, and details will be reported this evening.

Stewart, 24, of Rushville, Ind., got his first test in a Team Menard machine Friday at Walt Disney World Speedway in preparation for the inaugural Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Presented by Aurora. He joins 1995 Indianapolis 500 pole winner Scott Brayton and Formula One and Indy 500 vet Eddie Cheever in the three-car Menard stable.

"I've watched him through his career, and he's been a winner in anything he's ever run," said Larry Curry, director of racing for Team Menard. "I'm excited that Team Menard is embarking on a mission where we're going to run a new driver. Team Menard's heritage in the past has been to field the more experienced guys."

Jack Long, executive director of the Indy Racing League, said Stewart was a welcome addition to the series. "This is one of our stated goals, to provide opportunities for the American short-track racer," Long said. "This is what it's all about. We're glad to have him."

Stewart, who tested an Indianapolis car at Phoenix last fall, will be trying for his debut in the Indy machines after winning the 1995 USAC midget, sprint and Silver Crown championships. In all, he had 14 feature wins last year, with six national midget triumphs, seven sprint victories and one win in USAC's Speedrome midget series. He recently returned from a midget racing tour in Australia, in which he won five of seven feature starts.

...200/96-14...

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