Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart was in Lakeville last night to help promote Newton Park and the Little Hoosier 100 Midwest Thunder Series, an event that will be held August 11 and 12 that features kids ages 5 to 16 racing quarter midget cars. Stewart talks about the race.
“Oh it’s cool,” said Stewart. “I never got to run quarter midgets growing up because I ran go-karts, but for Bob and Joyce to put on an event like that and let these kids run an event with the quarter midgets is a lot of fun. You never know which kid that’s going to race here is going to be the next up-and-coming Jeff Gordon or Helio Castroneves. There’s a lot of good kids that will be up here racing from all over the country.”
During Tony Stewart’s visit at the Newton Center last night, he answered questions from the fans and he talked about his history in racing, his co-ownership of Stewart-Haas Racing, the connection he has to Indiana and Bob and Joyce Newton, plus working with his NASCAR teammate and fellow Hoosier Ryan Newman, among other things. Newman is a free agent after this season and Stewart said he’s working to keep him with Stewart-Haas racing.
“It’s very important to me because he was my first choice when we went to look for a teammate. It’s a big deal for us to try and get him resigned and hopefully we can get some sponsorship and get that done sooner than later,” said Stewart.
He also discussed how his season has gone so far, which includes two wins at tracks in Las Vegas and Fontana.
“It started off really strong,” said Stewart. “We’ve had a couple of bad races that we’d like to get turned around, but that’s the great thing about this sport. Technology changes weekly so hopefully we can go to Dover this week and do well. Luckily this is a track where Steve’s [Addington, Crew Chief] car won last fall with Kurt Busch so we’re looking forward to going there and driving the setup.”
He is in the final stages of building a home in Columbus, Indiana and admits he doesn’t get to come home very often.
“I’ll be honest, today is the eighth day that I’ve got to come home this year. I got to go home for about three-and-a-half hours today which doesn’t seem like much time, but any time I can just go home for a minute I’m happy. I’m going to be glad when my house is one-hundred percent done because I’m going to definitely make more time to come home, but it’s a lot of responsibility and a lot of time to have to spend in Charlotte because of the race team down there,” said Stewart.
But he will be back in this area again June 16 to race on the dirt track at Plymouth Speedway.
“It’s going to be neat. It’s definitely a small track so it’s going to be a pretty physical race. It’s neat to see a facility like that. You don’t see very many tracks that have a pavement and a dirt track so to see what they’ve done there is really, really impressive. The pavement track is awesome, but the dirt track looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun too,” said Stewart.
For more information on the Little Hoosier 100, visit newtonpark.com. For tickets to the Plymouth race, call (574) 936-0900 or plymouthspeedway.net.