Tony Stewart

Anthony Wayne " Tony" Stewart ( born May 20, 1971 in Columbus, Indiana) is a successful American NASCAR driver and team partner of Stewart Haas Racing.

He currently drives a Chevrolet Impala A with the number 14 with its main sponsors Office Depot and Old Spice. His crew chief Darian Grubb is. In addition, he drives a Chevrolet Impala B with the number 4 and Ritz crackers sponsorship in the Nationwide Series and in some races. He has the nickname " Smoke" and "The Columbus Comet " (after his hometown ). He is owner of Eldora Speedway, the Prelude to the Dream takes place on an annual basis.

In the years 2002, 2005 and 2011, he won the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Career start

Stewart began karting in 1987 and won the World Karting Championship. In 1991 he was Rookie of the Year ( best new driver) in the United States Auto Club ( USAC ) Silver Crown Series 1994 Champion of the National Midget Series. In 1995, he was able to win all three major titles of the USAC was the first driver.

In 1996 he made ​​his debut alongside his Indy car racing in the car of Harry Rainer in the Busch Grand National Series. However, his best result in nine races was only a 16th place. A one-time use in the Craftsman Truck Series ( third highest in NASCAR racing series ) led to a tenth place.

In 1997, he had, as it turned out a weak start to the season in the Indy Racing League (IRL ) in the first three races. After his first victory at Pikes Peak, he could win the title despite streaky results. He went back a few races in the Busch Grand National Series, this time for Joe Gibbs. When completed races he always reached the top 10, with a third place in Charlotte as the best result. Gibbs was so impressed that Stewart 1998 for a contract for all Busch race was that did not overlap with the IRL.

In the IRL, he won two races and finished third overall. In particular, because of his last place finish in the Indianapolis 500 because of an engine failure was this series disappointing for him in 1998. In the Busch Series, he reached in five races, the top 5 and was twice runner-up. At the end of the season he was with 22 of 31 driven 21 races of the championship. For the 1999 season, he was promoted to the Winston Cup, so he also finished his three-year career IRL.

Career in the Sprint Cup

Under contract with Joe Gibbs Racing (1999-2008)

In the first race of the season, the Daytona 500, he could with his number 20 Home Depot Pontiac surprisingly qualify as runner-up. In the race he was first in the front of the field before he fell back due to technical problems on a 28th place. Stewart used it often in his debut season in the top 10 and could not finish only one race. Together with three race wins meant to fourth place in the standings and the title of Rookie of the Year.

In 2000, he won six races, but deteriorated because of a series of failures in the overall standings to sixth place. Due to some inglorious race incidents Stewart received in several critical press reports, the request that he should set his rowdy behavior. So he left after an accident with Jeff Gordon at Watkins Glen rid of a dirty word charged tirade against the then three-time champion.

In 2001, he was in a spectacular crash in the opening race, the Daytona 500, involved. Stewart survived several flashovers of his car unharmed and won in the course of the season three races, in order to be runner-up. After a " bump and run", which in the NASCAR allowed in moderation single push of the front man of Jeff Gordon 's race in Bristol Stewart retaliated after the race by turning Gordon's car in the pit lane. In Daytona, he lay down in a NASCAR race officials, after he had ignored a black flag. With this he also addressed in Talladega, because he refused to wear the mandatory HANS system. These incidents contributed to his image as a bad boy in the NASCAR.

The first race started in 2002 with a loss due to an engine failure, where the race for the car with the number 20 already ended in round two. At the beginning of the season Tony picked up two wins, however, was halfway through the race only seventh. In addition, an altercation with a photographer at the Brickyard 400 led to probation until the end of the season. The following race at Watkins Glen he could win, then he placed consistently in the top 5 to get his first Winston Cup in the fight against Mark Martin.

As defending champion, he moved in 2003 from Pontiac to Chevrolet and had a relatively quiet season. Two wins and a strong form at the end of the season led to a seventh place.

With two wins in Chicagoland and Watkins Glen 2004 he was sixth. Together with Andy Wallace and Dale Earnhardt junior, he reached in a Boss Motorsports Chevrolet a fourth place in the 24- hour race at Daytona in 2004. The trio dominated with her ​​sports car until just before the race is happening, as their rear suspension broke. In November, Stewart purchased Eldora Speedway in Rossburg the, Ohio, one of the most legendary short track racing courses in the USA.

In 2005 he was with five wins for the second time champion of the top NASCAR racing series. The inaugural Chase for the Nextel Cup resulted in a kind of round playoff among the ten best drivers so far in the last ten races of the season one, the Stewart started as topgesetzter driver. Without another victory, but with top 10 finishes in seven of the ten races he won the title. Stewart is one of the youngest drivers who were masters several times. His race and championship bonuses added in 2005 to around 13.6 million U.S. dollars. On August 16, Tony rammed Brian Vickers ' car after the race in the Busch Series at Watkins Glen. In addition to a fine of $ 5,000, he again under probation. Since his second win of the season, he climbs like Spiderman Hélio Castroneves after his successes with helmet and racing overalls at the fence of the track barrier high to be celebrated itself. His sponsor, the Home Depot, took advantage of the attention generated to increase the sales of ladders and bricks.

2006 Stewart missed by a 18th place in Richmond to qualify for the Chase for scarce 16 points. Two wins and 14 top - 10 finishes ranged just not against Kasey Kahne, who was eliminated in tenth place in the table with a win and a third place in the races 25 and 26. In the remaining ten races, Stewart took three wins and consolidated its eleventh position. Middle of the season, he fought several races with a painful shoulder injury. During NASCAR 's All Star Race on May 20, Stewart collided with Matt Kenseth, whereupon they agreed each other to blame. On July 23, he was stopped by the stewards for unfair riding for a round in the current race, but nevertheless reached number 7

The 2007 season started for Stewart in disappointment. After an accident at the Daytona 500, he finished the race in 43rd place until midway through the season, then followed a total of eleven top 10 results, only five times Stewart landed outside the top 20th On 15 July 2007, he reported back with a victory at the USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Two weeks later, Stewart also won the next race of the season, the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There was a sixth place at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona and his third and at the same time last victory of the season at Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen. In the 2007 season managed Stewart in the Chase and achieved in the last ten races five finishes among the top 10, including a second place at the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond. Contrast, however, there were three placements outside the top 30, so that Stewart finished sixth in the championship at the end of the season.

The first half of the 2008 season in the Sprint Cup was rather mixed. After 18 races, Stewart had indeed achieved five top - five and eight top - 10 finishes, in contrast, were four races in which he finished 30th place or worse. In addition, he did not succeed until then, to win a race. In contrast, a total of five victories in seven races in the Nationwide Series, where he competed. On 9 July 2008 his team owner Joe Gibbs announced that Stewart will leave the team for the 2009 season to become a partner of the team Stewart Haas Racing in addition to his racing career, for which he will also go.

Team owner and driver at Stewart Haas Racing (from 2009)

The new Stewart -Haas Racing team was directly competitive from the start of the 2009 season, as the team refers customers vehicles from Hendrick Motorsports. In the first 11 races Stewart could enter eight Top 10 finishes and the Sprint All- Star Race XXV, which does not belong to the championship, Tony Stewart was able to achieve his first victory as a driver and team owner. 3 weeks later, he won with his new team its first points race at the Pocono Raceway in the Pocono 500 This was the first time in 11 years that again, was able to win a race a driver who is team owner at the same time. This was followed in the course of the season before the Chase for the Sprint Cup, further wins in the spring race at Daytona, the Coke Zero 400 at Watkins Glen International and the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen. Until 26 races in Richmond Stewart claimed the championship lead with 3 wins and 18 top 10 finishes. As Mark Martin but three more victories had on the account, Stewart started as second in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. In Chase Stewart was not in a position to challenge for the championship. Although he managed another win at the Price Chopper 400 in Kansas but the rest of the race went rather mixed and he closed his first season as a driver and team owner with overall 6.

At the start of the 2010 season, Stewart won the opening round of the Nationwide Series at Daytona again. He succeeded in this for the fifth time in six years. Also in this year he qualified for the Chase, by 400 he occupied the sixth place in the table after the Air Guard at Richmond International Raceway with a win and seven top-5 finishes. However, in the Chase, he was just average score and finished the year in 7th place overall.

After a rather mixed first half of the season of 2011 he qualified for the Chase was only just in ninth -placed in the driver standings by only in the last qualifying race he was able to secure a place in Richmond itself. He then won, who came more as outsider in the Chase, just the first two races in Chicago and Loudon. The next race, he was able to achieve very good results on average, until it reaches the next victory went in the 33rd round of the season at Martinsville Speedway, by the reigning five -time champion Jimmie Johnson outboard overhauled just before the end, what a sensation showed. In an interview after this race, Stewart made ​​it clear that Carl Edwards, the points leader should reckon with him. His exact words were " He better be worried. That's all ... He's not going to have an easy three weeks ." Really exciting Edwards and Stewart made ​​the season finale. Stewart needed after another race win in Texas and third in Phoenix still 3 points, to be on an equal footing with Edwards, who in turn was able to record very good results. After a drama in Homestead, in which Stewart twice the entire field had to roll up from the back, he finally won ahead of Edwards and was thus able to secure the championship, because he has more victories - eventually five - could achieve.

Race wins