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Tony Stewart kicks off SpeedWeeks with sprint car win in Georgia

By admin | February 12, 2012

Race winner Tony Stewart being interviewed by the track announcer through the fence at Screven Motor Speedway 

By Richard Allen

Tony Stewart showed on Saturday night at the Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Georgia that the NASCAR Sprint Cup champion can also drive sprint cars. The driver known as ‘Smoke’ powered his way to the lead with steam literally boiling off his right rear tire with less than five laps to go and went on to capture the $5,000 to win winged sprint car event.

The All Star Circuit of Champions sanctioned race was the second for that series, having also raced on the 3/8 mile clay oval on Friday night. The sprint car race was held in conjunction with the $20,000 to win World of Outlaws Late Models season opener, which had earlier been won by Darrell Lanigan.

Stewart had raced on Friday night as well. After winning a heat race, he faded quickly in the feature and eventually pulled off track near the halfway mark. Then, the owner of Tony Stewart Racing had his crew to load up their car and take it back to a local hotel parking lot where they worked feverishly to make the racer better.

The improved car was able to post a qualifying lap good enough to make the top-6, and thus, earn Stewart a spot in the six lap dash race that would determine the starting lineup for the feature. Stewart finished 2nd in that race to Jason Sides, which placed him on the front row for the 30 lap main event.

At the start of the feature, Sides looked as if he might dominate. However, a string of early race cautions for minor incidents kept the field bunched. As a matter of fact, there were so many caution laps that at the halfway point the cars were stopped on the back stretch so crews could add more fuel.

It was just after the fuel stop that Stewart’s car really seemed to come to life. He had fallen back to 4th just before halfway but quickly went to work as the laps dwindled away. Using the outside groove, the driver of car #14 was able to get around his competitors who had committed to the low line, which had been the preferred way around for most of the event.

Finally, with less than five laps to go, Stewart worked around Sides and then held on for the win. Kasey Kahne Racing driver Cody Darrah finished 3rd.

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4 Responses to “Tony Stewart kicks off SpeedWeeks with sprint car win in Georgia”

  1. Jeff (Spokane, WA) Says:
    February 12th, 2012 at 2:55 am

    Smoke has SO much talent! There is such a difference between 410 sprint car and a cup car they are simply NOT comparable. And to beat guys like Sides who race these cars week in and week out takes TALENT. Smoke has un-real talent and could be one of the best drivers we’ll ever see! He is truly amazing. It’d be fun to see if he could somehow pull together all the peices to run competetively in an Indy 500 and even cooler to see him win one. He’s sure as heck has a better chance than Danicca (she’s a joke with nice t*ts).

  2. Tony Geinzer Says:
    February 12th, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Rich, I still want Smoke to do more than show up at the 500 or LeMans, I’d still would love to see him win the Indy 500. Smoke has so much unreal talent that it is not cliche.

  3. savage Says:
    February 12th, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Yep very impressive when a 2 time cup champion can throw together a top of the line professionally engineered sprint car and beat guys with shade tree budgets. Wonder what would happen if the yankees played my local high school team? I guess tony needed an ego boost just like kyle busch needed one a couple weeks ago

  4. mj Says:
    February 14th, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    @savage: you do realize that Tony was a Sprint car champion BEFORE he ever came to NASCAR, right?