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Tony Stewart Attempting to Make History with Chicago Trifecta at NHRA Route 66 Nationals

Tony Stewart, a legendary figure in motorsports, is set to compete at the NHRA Route 66 Nationals in Chicago. Stewart, who currently holds the seventh position in the Top Fuel standings, is just 212 points behind leader Justin Ashley. Meanwhile, in the Funny Car standings, Matt Hagan is positioned third, trailing the leader Austin Prock by 32 points.

Stewart, the all-time winningest NASCAR Cup Series driver at Chicagoland Speedway, is making his debut on the Route 66 Raceway dragstrip. With three career wins at Chicagoland Speedway (2004, 2007, 2011), Stewart has a storied history in Chicago. His 2011 victory at Chicagoland marked his 40th NASCAR Cup Series win, and he continued that momentum by securing another win in New Hampshire the following weekend, becoming only the second driver in the playoff’s history to achieve consecutive wins at the start of the playoffs.

Stewart expressed his excitement about returning to Chicago, saying, “It’s honestly a lot of fun for me to be racing in a totally different discipline than I have in the past, but still going to properties and facilities that I’ve raced at in the past in NASCAR and dirt track racing. So anytime we go to a place that is somewhat familiar to me, I enjoy the opportunity to do something different there and try to rewrite the record books.”

In a unique partnership, Mopar CAP (Career Automotive Program) will be collaborating with Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) on Friday, marking the second of nine events this season. Mopar CAP forms strategic alliances between Stellantis and over 100 colleges and trade schools, integrating technical curriculum into general automotive programs to certify students as Stellantis technicians.

Stewart, along with his wife Leah Pruett, recently participated in a media day in Chicago to kick off the NHRA Route 66 Nationals. Highlighting the unique experience of NHRA racing, Stewart noted, “I really believe no matter what form of sports they follow there’s just not an experience like what you get at a NHRA race to see cars with over 11,000 horsepower that run 300 miles per hour. It’s not something you’re going to see in downtown Chicago whether you’re at the NASCAR race or you go to a baseball game, hockey game, or football game. It’s just not the same experience. Having the opportunity once a year to go to Joliet and for people to sneak out to the edge of town and see something that they’ve never seen before is a great opportunity.”

Stewart, and his teammate Matt Hagan, will run special decals at Chicago in support of Military Appreciation Month, which is celebrated every May. TSR salutes all those who serve and have served, and honors the sacrifices made by service members and their families. Three of TSR’s crew members are veterans – Thomas Brown, Kurt Johnson and Chris Shuron. Brown, who oversees body and tire preparation on Hagan’s Funny Car, was a sergeant and squad leader in the Army. Johnson, TSR’s track specialist, spent six years as a United States Marine Aircraft Fire Fighter during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Shuron, a clutch assistant who handles tire preparation on Stewart’s Top Fuel dragster, served in the Marines where he was a lance corporal.

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