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Tony Stewart Clinches Victory in Top Alcohol Dragster at Pep Boys NHRA Nationals

Tony Stewart added another feather to his cap with a victory in Top Alcohol Dragster at the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals held at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Stewart kicked off the weekend by securing the No. 3 qualifying position from Friday’s Q2 run. During Q3 on Saturday, he showcased his racing might with a time of 5.221 ET at 270.70 mph.

The finals were contested on Monday due to the rain on race day and a rematch from Las Vegas 2022 for the pair. Stewart clinched the title with a 5.213 ET at 271.19 mph against Madison Payne’s competitive 5.253 ET at 276.69 mph.

With this win at the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals, Stewart now commands the Top Alcohol Dragster national championship standings, holding a significant 64-point lead over Julie Nataas. This victory marks his fourth in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, adding to his triumphs in Las Vegas, Indianapolis, and Reading.

He also sits atop the North Central Region championship point standings with 309 points, leading teammate Mike Coughlin by a considerable 75 points.

Tony Stewart reflected on his recent victory, saying, “I’ve raced a lot on Mondays in the past with NASCAR, IndyCar, or sprint car races. It’s different when you are drag racing. You get into a cadence and rhythm of the day because you have your adrenaline going up and down all day long. The rain that we had yesterday interrupts everything and gets you out of sync. This morning, you wake up, take a shower, and come warm up the car. Then you get dressed and run in the Final. It’s definitely not the way you want to have to go into Monday, but I’m glad we made it to Monday, and I’m glad we pulled this off.

“The McPhillips Racing family does an awesome job,” he continued. “This is their home track, so there were a lot of friends and family in the pit this weekend. It doesn’t really add much pressure, but you obviously want to do well at your owners home track. Thank you to Mobil 1 and everybody that keeps us going. We are having a lot of fun doing this and I’m happy to have the points lead back. I have always liked the opportunity to get a points lead, even if by one point. It’s huge to get the lead with a few races left this year. We are going to make the most out of every single one of them.”

This story was originally published on September 19, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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