Tony Stewart Honored by Hometown

Stewart has his day in hometown By Brett Borden COLUMBUS, Ind. (May 10, 1999) Tony Stewart was handed the key to the city of Columbus, Ind., during a recent ceremony. For the man who has brought Cole Trickle to life, it is only fitting ...

Stewart has his day in hometown By Brett Borden

COLUMBUS, Ind. (May 10, 1999) Tony Stewart was handed the key to the city of Columbus, Ind., during a recent ceremony. For the man who has brought Cole Trickle to life, it is only fitting that Tony Stewart have his day. Just like the character from the movie "Days of Thunder," Stewart has converted from open wheel racing to stock car racing's premier circuit, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. On Sunday, reality became even more like Hollywood as Stewart's hometown of Columbus, Ind., honored him on "Tony Stewart Day." Presenting the proclamation and a key to the city was Columbus Mayor Fred Armstrong.

Two signs entering the city have been posted listing Stewart's on-track accomplishments. The three items on the list currently are his 1995 USAC Triple Crown championship, his 1996 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year title, and his 1997 Indy Racing League title. Stewart says he hopes to add some NASCAR Winston Cup titles to the list.

"I see you left some space at the bottom for more," he said during the ceremony which attracted approximately 50 fans.

There soon could be more.

Consider the following: in his first 10 NASCAR Winston Cup Series starts, the driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac has six finishes of 12th or better. Included are career-best finishes in each of the last two races, including a fourth at California Speedway in his most recent outing. Add to that a Bud Pole at Martinsville Speedway and an outside pole at Daytona International Speedway, plus second row starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway. Stewart has hit every pitch thrown at him this season.

Big track? No problem. He sat on the front row at Daytona and finished fifth at Talladega Superspeedway. Short track? Try a top-15 at Bristol and a Bud Pole at Martinsville. Medium-sized track? He has three finishes of sixth or better on those, too.

It's all adding up to quite a rookie season for Stewart, and it looks like those signs his hometown have put up to honor him may have the line "1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year" added in the near future.

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart