Tony Stewart is the driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops and Mobil 1 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He has scored 12 championships since he first wheeled a go-kart in 1978 at a Westport, Ind., racetrack.
His most widely known titles are the three he scored in NASCAR’s pinnacle series. The three-time Sprint Cup Series champion earned his first crown in 2002 by beating veteran racer Mark Martin by 38 points and a second in 2005 when he bested Greg Biffle by 35 points. His third title was earned in 2011 after winning the season finale at Homestead Speedway to edge Carl Edwards on a tiebreaker (most wins). It was the first championship for a driver/owner since 1992 when Alan Kulwicki accomplished the feat.
In 2009 Stewart became the first driver/owner to win a Sprint Cup race since Ricky Rudd was victorious in 1998. Stewart found victory lane five times during the season including the prestigious Sprint All-Star Race and the million dollar purse that accompanied it. Championships begat championships for Stewart, as the Columbus, Ind.-native came to NASCAR in 1999 by way of the IRL IndyCar Series, where he was the series champion in 1997. And before he made his mark in Indy cars, Stewart made a name for himself in the rough-and-tumble world of the United States Auto Club (USAC). He has four USAC championships, including what at the time was an unprecedented win of USAC’s “Triple Crown.”
He is the first and only driver to have won championships in stock cars, Indy cars and open-wheel Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown cars. And his three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships made him one of just nine drivers who have scored three or more Cup titles.
Eyebrows were raised on July 10, 2008 when Stewart announced that after spending his entire NASCAR career with Joe Gibbs Racing, he was leaving to become a driver/owner in the Sprint Cup Series with Stewart-Haas Racing. As tenacious as Stewart is in the cockpit of a racecar, he’s proven equally adept at providing cars and equipment for racing’s future stars-– a way to give back to the grassroots racing series that helped him become a motorsports icon.
In November 2000, Stewart formed Tony Stewart Racing (TSR). And what began as a single World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series team is now a powerful five-team entry with strong footholds in the WoO and USAC. Operating out of state-of-the-art 25,000-square foot facility in Brownsburg, Ind., TSR fields two USAC teams, two WoO teams and a winged sprint car for Stewart to pilot when his schedule allows.
As much as Stewart is devoted to racing, he is also devoted to philanthropy, so much so that he formed his own charitable foundation in 2003. Known simply as the Tony Stewart Foundation, the 501(c)(3) organization’s goal is to raise funds that will be primarily distributed to three specific groups-- chronically ill children, drivers injured in motor sports activities and organizations dedicated to the protection of various animal species. To date, the Foundation has awarded over $5 million to assist charitable initiatives for more than 130 organizations throughout the United States.
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