Pick a racing series. Choose a style of racecar. Name a venue. Chances are, Tony Stewart has proven victorious – in and out of the driver’s seat.
Despite a legendary, professional driving career, Stewart can still remember the days of wheeling a go-kart in 1978 at a Westport, Indiana, racetrack. “When I started racing competitively when I was about 7 or 8, getting a trophy that was bigger than the other kids’ was all I cared about,” Stewart said. “I couldn’t have asked for more out of this life. I feel like I’m a very, very fortunate person.”
His early USAC success in 1995 led Stewart to earn a spot in the fledgling IndyCar Series, which sowed the seeds of Stewart’s NASCAR career. A schedule of 22 NASCAR Xfinity Series races with Joe Gibbs Racing in 1998 prepared Stewart for his assault on the Cup ranks in 1999.
Stewart’s achievements on the racetrack are so prolific that there are simply too many to list. From racing “Double Duty” in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day to his most widely-known titles in the NASCAR Cup Series (2002, 2005, and 2011), Stewart found success around every turn. After a 20-year professional driving career, Stewart retired from his NASCAR driving duties following the 2016 season to focus on his co-ownership of Stewart-Haas Racing.
In 2008, Stewart announced he was leaving Joe Gibbs Racing to become a driver/owner in the NASCAR Cup Series with Stewart-Haas Racing. Many people saw Stewart’s new direction as an impossible challenge, but Stewart ended a 375-race winless streak for driver/owners when he won the NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocano (Pa.) Raceway in 2009.
Often overlooked in Stewart’s transition to a driver/owner in the elite NASCAR Cup Series was his long, successful history as a team owner in other racing series. From a massive facility in Kannapolis, North Carolina, over 300 employees work on behalf of Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Ford Fusion, Aric Almirola’s No. 10 Ford Fusion, Clint Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford Fusion and Kurt Busch’s No. 41 Ford Fusion. Stewart has also proven adept at providing cars and equipment for racing’s dirt-track elite, where he created Tony Stewart Racing.