Tony Stewart Outruns Rico & CBell To Score All Star Sprint Win At 34 Raceway

Story By: TYLER ALTMEYER / ALL STAR CIRCUIT OF CHAMPIONS – WEST BURLINGTON, IA – It took Tony Stewart nearly six months to earn his second Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 victory of the 2019 season, but the victory was well worth the wait, scoring the inaugural Rayce Rudeen Foundation Race win at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa, worth $26,000.

Forced to outrun some of the best in the business, Smoke took command of the feature field on lap 11, taking advantage of a mishap by race leader, as well as pole-sitter, Rico Abreu. The mishap, a miscue on the cushion which forced Abreu up and over the edge in turns one and two, allowed Smoke to close-in on the California-native and capitalize.

Although Smoke maintained control for the next 19 circuits, a hornets nest assembled behind the Columbus, Indiana-native with Rico Abreu, Christopher Bell and Aaron Reutzel all battling for top-five positions.

After exchanging slide jobs corner after corner with NASCAR Xfinity star, Christopher Bell, for nearly five circuits, Rico Abreu settled into second, followed by Bell, defending All Star champion, Aaron Reutzel, and Cory Eliason at the final checkers.

The 34 Raceway triumph bumps Stewart’s All Star Circuit of Champions win count to five, his second of the season and his first since February in Ocala, Florida. Adding some extra spark to his five-figure payday, Smoke accomplished his feat with MAVTV Motorsports Network cameras rolling – set to re-air later this year.

“Hats off to Kevin Rudeen and his staff; Natalie Sather and all of Speed Media. Kevin came up to me this winter and had an idea for an event like this. I was happy to be a part of it, but I had no idea I would be in contention to win it. I’m truly honored to win an event that pays tribute to Rayce Rudeen,” Tony Stewart said, driver of the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing/Rush Truck Centers/Toco Warranty/Ford Performance/Sage Fruit/No. 14 sprint car. “I was just happy to be in the dash. Winning the dash set us up for all of this.”

Rico Abreu led the first ten circuits on Sunday night, blasting away to a near-straightaway lead by the time the leaders reached traffic for the first time. Unfortunately, Abreu would only face traffic for a single circuit, as the St. Helena, California-native lost the edge of the speedway and slid off the banking which allowed Smoke to drive by and take command.

“Rico [Abreu] has us all covered, there is no doubt in my mind,” Tony Stewart continued. “He had a big lead and I’m not sure we were ever going to catch him. In fact, when he slipped up over the edge, I wasn’t sure I had enough to catch him before he got back up on the track. Luckily for me, I was in a position to capitalize and it all worked out. This team works so hard. Sometimes things don’t go our way, but tonight they did. I’m pretty sure this is the biggest payday I’ve ever won in a sprint car.”

“When you’re driving that hard, you’re bound to make mistakes,” Rico Abreu said. “I had really good cars behind me, so you have no choice but to race as hard as you can. I just over drove, really. That’s why I love sprint car racing so much. It really brings out your driving ability.”

The All Star Circuit of Champions will enjoy a pair of weekends away from scheduled competition before returning to action on Friday and Saturday, August 16 & 17, with a two-race weekend in Michigan and Indiana. The Series will visit I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Michigan, on Friday, August 16, before venturing south to Plymouth Speedway in Plymouth, Indiana, on Saturday, August 17.

Although the All Stars are off, technically, many full-timers will be making the trek to Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, for the coveted Knoxville Nationals on August 7-10.

Contingency Awards/Results: 34 Raceway – July 28, 2019:
Event: Rayce Rudeen Foundation Race
Entries: 34
C&R Racing All Star Warm-Ups: Trey Starks – 12.644
Lincoln Electric Fast Qualifier: Aaron Reutzel – 12.491
Ford Performance Heat #1: Cory Eliason
All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Heat #2: Dale Blaney
Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat #3: Skylar Gee
Mobil 1 Heat #4: Brock Zearfoss
JE Pistons Dash #1: Rico Abreu
Fatheadz Eyewear Dash #2: Tony Stewart
Classic Ink USA Screenprinting B-Main Winner: Paul Nienhiser
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet A-Main Winner: Tony Stewart
MSD Performance Hard Charger Award: Christopher Bell (+7)
Cometic Gasket Most A-Main Laps Led: Tony Stewart (11-30)
Rayce Rudeen Foundation First Non-Transfer: Andrew Scheuerle
(Lincoln Electric, MSD Performance, Fatheadz Eyewear, Rayce Rudeen Foundation, Cometic Gasket: Need decal to qualify for contingency award)

Qualifying

Group (A)
1. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 12.491; 2. 26-Cory Eliason, 12.535; 3. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr., 12.627; 4. 2KS-Austin McCarl, 12.660; 5. 9X-Paul Nienhiser, 12.674; 6. 21-Brian Brown, 12.728; 7. 21K-Thomas Kennedy, 12.924; 8. 33M-Mason Daniel, 12.955; 9. 2AU-Andrew Scheuerle, 13.114

Group (B)
1. 39-Christopher Bell, 12.521; 2. 4-Terry McCarl, 12.783; 3. 11-Dale Blaney, 12.875; 4. 83-Lynton Jeffrey, 12.876; 5. 2C-Wayne Johnson, 12.941; 6. O7-Gerard McIntyre, 12.961; 7. 44-Chris Martin, 13.018; 8. A45-Rusty Hickman, 13.155; 9. 7s-Jeff Swindell, 13.202

Group (C)
1. 24-Rico Abreu, 12.613; 2. 9-James McFadden, 12.685; 3. 14-Tony Stewart, 12.725; 4. 99-Skylar Gee, 12.847; 5. W20-Greg Wilson, 12.939; 6. 14M-Marcus Dumesny, 12.966; 7. 49-Josh Schneiderman, 13.073; 8. 51J-Matthew Krieger, 14.287

Group (D)
1. 70-Brock Zearfoss, 12.869; 2. 70X-Justin Peck, 13.016; 3. 96-Parker Price-Miller, 13.063; 4. 17W-Shane Golobic, 13.073; 5. 2M-Kerry Madsen, 13.193; 6. 13-Paul McMahan, 13.231; 7. 40-George Hobaugh, 13.488; 8. 44s-Trey Starks, NT

Heat #1 – Group (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 26-Cory Eliason [3]; 2. 2KS-Austin McCarl [1]; 3. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [2]; 4. 87-Aaron Reutzel [4]; 5. 21-Brian Brown [6]; 6. 21K-Thomas Kennedy [7]; 7. 9X-Paul Nienhiser [5]; 8. 2AU-Andrew Scheuerle [9]; 9. 33M-Mason Daniel [8]

Heat #2 – Group (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 11-Dale Blaney [2]; 2. 39-Christopher Bell [4]; 3. 83-Lynton Jeffrey [1]; 4. 4-Terry McCarl [3]; 5. 2C-Wayne Johnson [5]; 6. O7-Gerard McIntyre [6]; 7. A45-Rusty Hickman [8]; 8. 44-Chris Martin [7]; 9. 7S-Jeff Swindell [9]

Heat #3 – Group (C) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 99-Skylar Gee [1]; 2. 14-Tony Stewart [2]; 3. 9-James McFadden [3]; 4. 24-Rico Abreu [4]; 5. 49-Josh Schneiderman [7]; 6. W20-Greg Wilson [5]; 7. 14M-Marcus Dumesny [6]; 8. 51J-Matthew Krieger [8]

Heat #4 – Group (D) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 70-Brock Zearfoss [4]; 2. 17W-Shane Golobic [1]; 3. 70X-Justin Peck [3]; 4. 2M-Kerry Madsen [5]; 5. 96-Parker Price-Miller [2]; 6. 44S-Trey Starks [8]; 7. 13-Paul McMahan [6]; 8. 40-George Hobaugh [7]

Dash #1 (4 Laps)
1. 24-Rico Abreu [2]; 2. 11-Dale Blaney [3]; 3. 26-Cory Eliason [4]; 4. 87-Aaron Reutzel [1]; 5. 70-Brock Zearfoss [5]

Dash #2 (4 Laps)
1. 14-Tony Stewart [4]; 2. 2KS-Austin McCarl [2]; 3. 99-Skylar Gee [3]; 4. 17W-Shane Golobic [1]; 5. 39-Christopher Bell [5]

B-Main (12 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. 9X-Paul Nienhiser [1]; 2. W20-Greg Wilson [3]; 3. O7-Gerard McIntyre [4]; 4. 14M-Marcus Dumesny [6]; 5. 2AU-Andrew Scheuerle [10]; 6. 33M-Mason Daniel [13]; 7. 21K-Thomas Kennedy [2]; 8. 40-George Hobaugh [11]; 9. 44-Chris Martin [9]; 10. 51J-Matthew Krieger [12]; 11. 7S-Jeff Swindell [14]; 12. A45-Rusty Hickman [7]; 13. 44S-Trey Starks [5]; 14. 13-Paul McMahan [8]

A-Main (30 Laps)
1. 14-Tony Stewart [2]; 2. 24-Rico Abreu [1]; 3. 39-Christopher Bell [10]; 4. 87-Aaron Reutzel [7]; 5. 26-Cory Eliason [5]; 6. 9-James McFadden [12]; 7. 11-Dale Blaney [3]; 8. 99-Skylar Gee [6]; 9. 70X-Justin Peck [13]; 10. 2KS-Austin McCarl [4]; 11. 70-Brock Zearfoss [9]; 12. 2M-Kerry Madsen [16]; 13. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [11]; 14. 17W-Shane Golobic [8]; 15. 21-Brian Brown [17]; 16. 96-Parker Price-Miller [19]; 17. 4-Terry McCarl [14]; 18. W20-Greg Wilson [23]; 19. 9X-Paul Nienhiser [21]; 20. 13-Paul McMahan [25]; 21. 83-Lynton Jeffrey [15]; 22. O7-Gerard McIntyre [22]; 23. 49-Josh Schneiderman [20]; 24. 2C-Wayne Johnson [18]; 25. 14M-Marcus Dumesny [24] Lap Leaders: Rico Abreu (1-10), Tony Stewart (11-30)

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