Tony Stewart in August 2007 at Bristol Motor Speedway (Courtsey of Wiki Commons)
Tony Stewart is currently sponsored by Old Spice/ Office Depot driving a Chevrolet that is owned by Margaret Haas. He is with the Stewart-Haas Racing team after being released one year early in July 2008 from his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing and his crew chief is Darian Grubb. He switched from Joe Gibbs Racing after his old team changed from running Chevrolets to Toyota. Tony is very loyal to Chevrolet and the move enabled him to continue with his choice of car in the then Haas CNCRacing team. Sponsorship came when Office Depot relocated from the #99 Roush Fenway team and Tony bought the Old Spice sponsorship, he also bought half of the team and Haas CNC Racing was renamed Stewart-Haas Racing making him the highest paid driver in NASCAR.
Tony was born on 20th May 1971 in Columbus, Indiana. He started racing Karts from an early age and successfully won a World Karting Association championship in 1987. Until 1991 he raced three-quarter-midgets then moved up to the United States Auto Club (USAC) series with the help of his friend and sponsor, Mark Dismore and became the Rookie of the Year that year.
His racing career is pretty impressive with wins such as the Hut Hundred in 1993, the National Midget Series championship in 1994 and in 1995 the first driver to win the USAC’s version of the Triple Crown, gaining championships in all three of the USAC’s major divisions, National Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown and highlight of the year winning the Hut Hundred and 4-Crown Nationals. He raced in the Indy Racing League from 1996 to 2001, taking part in 26 races to win 3, with 10 top 5 and 15 top 10 places and going on to NASCAR in 1999 to take part in 417 races to win 38, with 151 top 5 and 244 top 10 places.
He has earned the nickname “Smoke” by firstly, on his own admission, by “not being very good about not slipping the right rear tyre” during dirt racing and then for blowing his engine often in his 1997 championship run. He was once told by team owner, Joe Gibbs that he was no longer allowed to race outside of his Sprint Car obligations so he got around this by entering a USAC Midget race under the name of “Smokey Jones” and once he had won the feature he revealed himself as Tony Stewart to the crowd. He has raced many Modified races under the name of “Smoke Johnson” in 2010.
Tony is involved with many other activities such as: “Prelude to the Dream”, a sponsored race by Sprint that features many NASCAR and NHRA drivers such as Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and others and the event has raised over 4 million dollars for NASCAR and other driver charities including The Victory Junction Gang Camp.
He formed his own charity, run by his mother, in 2003, known as the Tony Stewart Foundation, a charity whose mission is to raise money for organisations that help to care for critically ill children and to help support for the families of race car drivers that have been injured in Motorsports.
He owns various racetracks, has appeared on the television and radio where he has hosted and co-hosted various programmes appeared in commercials, videos and has been included in Electronic Arts’ NASCAR sim racing series from 2000 to the present day
Tony is single and still lives in the house that he grew up in. Natalie, his sister runs the Tony Stewart Fan Club together with his mother Pam Boas.
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