Tony Stewart, already a legend in motorsports, added the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Top Alcohol Dragster title to his collection of outstanding accomplishments at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on The Strip. Even though this was only his fourth time competing at a national level, he beat out former world champion Chris Demke and teammate Mike Coughlin.
Stewart, the owner of Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) and the Dodge factory-backed NHRA teams of Leah Pruett and Matt Hagan, is the only driver in history to win NASCAR, Indy Car, Midget Car, Sprint Car, and Silver Crown Car championships.
Considering he had only raced in this class four times before the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Stewart’s win was all the more impressive. Stewart was the runner-up at this same competition a year ago, losing out to eventual champion Madison Payne. But he told his wife, Top Fuel Dragster driver Leah Pruett, that he wanted to win this time and gave it his all.
Stewart had a great showing in the race and seemed to have no trouble adjusting to the unconventional four-wide layout. The early rounds, he said, had the feel of heat races on a short track. However, he enjoyed the thrill of the four-wide format and found the extra people and distractions at the starting line a welcome challenge.
With a qualifying time of 5.285 sec @ 267.69 mph, Stewart started in fifth place and won all three of his quads, giving him his first victory in this class. With a final round time of 5.324 @ 269.62 mph, he bested Todd Bruce (5.332), Chris Demke (5.355), and Mike Coughlin (5.351) in the final round.
Stewart’s latest success at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals adds to his long list of motorsports achievements, including his NASCAR Cup victory on the Superspeedway, USAC Midget and Sprint Car victories on the paved oval, and Winged Midget and Silver Crown titles on the dirt-track oval. He has now won on all four tracks that make up the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
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