Story By: TYLER ALTMEYER / TONY STEWART RACING – BROWNSBURG, IN – Adding to an early season resume that now includes eight top-ten finishes in ten starts, one of which a victory against the highly-competitive All Star Circuit of Champions, ‘Smoke’ Tony Stewart found success yet again in the Sunshine State, this time capturing back-to-back top-five finishes during 360c.i. sprint car competition at East Bay Raceway Park near Tampa.
Smoke, driver of the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing/Rush Truck Centers/Ford Performance/Curb Records/Sage Fruit/Absolute Automation & Security/No. 14 sprint car, joined some of the nation’s finest 360 sprint car competitors during his trip to Tampa, ultimately working to attain his first 360 sprint car victory of the 2019 season. Although the three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion fell just shy of his ultimate goal, Smoke displayed consistency and perseverance, gaining a grand total of 15 positions in two races and capping the weekend with a fourth place finish on Thursday, February 14, and a runner-up performance on Friday, February 15.
“We have been working our tails off and it’s definitely paying off,” Tony Stewart said, who owns seven top-five finishes in ten starts. “Jimmy and Marty continue to give me great race cars and it shows. We need to work on starting a little closer to the front. Passing cars is fun, but winning is more fun. I think if we had the opportunity to start a little closer to the front, we would have a few more victories this year.”
Impressive enough, Smoke’s pair of top-five finishes were the result of massive charges through the fields.
On Thursday, Smoke started from the outside of row seven before advancing for a top-five. On Friday, the effort was just the same as Smoke battled forward from seventh to earn his podium run. Adding even more luster to his impressive weekend results, the Columbus, Ind., native won each of his respective heat races.
Unfortunately, Stewart was unable to enter the third and final night of Ronald Laney Memorial competition on Saturday, February 16, due to prior obligations.
Tony Stewart’s upcoming sprint car plans are uncertain. Fans are encouraged to stay alert via social media for further updates.