Tony Stewart A Monster of a Drive

When Tony Stewart arrived at Dover (Del.) International Speedway in the spring of 2000 as a sophomore driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, he was 10th in the championship point standings with three top-fives and seven top-10s in 12 races. He had led a total of 71 laps, and 69 of them had come two races prior at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. His best finish was a second-place effort in the third race of the season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Stewart was close to catching fire, but he needed a spark. Enter the Monster Mile.

The 1-mile, concrete oval known for chewing up and spitting out even the most seasoned of Sprint Cup drivers was thoroughly tamed by Stewart. He led 242 of the 400 laps, the most of any driver, to become the 12th different winner of the 2000 season. It was a monster of a drive that kicked Stewart’s season into gear, initiating a nine-race stretch that brought two more wins and seven top-10s.

Driving the No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) this Sunday at Dover in the FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks, Stewart seeks another monster drive – both on the track and off.

For the second time in 2015, Stewart will carry the colors of Code 3 Associates, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization specializing in animal rescue and recovery in disaster areas. Since launching in 1985, the mission of Code 3 Associates has remained the same – to provide professional disaster response for animals in need, and to train individuals involved in animal-related law enforcement and emergency response to safely and effectively carry out their responsibilities to the animals and people in their communities.

This weekend, Code 3 Associates aims to raise awareness and drive membership via its free membership program – a package that offers concerned individuals the opportunity to get involved at no cost. All they need to do is sign up at or text “TONY” to 38470.

Enter Stewart.

Now a three-time Sprint Cup champion with 48 career victories, Stewart is also a three-time winner at Dover. After sweeping the track’s slate of Sprint Cup races in 2000 where he bookended his spring performance by leading 163 laps in the fall race, Stewart scored his third Dover victory 12 years later when he won the 2013 FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks.

The win was evocative of Stewart’s early days at Dover where from 1999 to 2004 he finished outside the top-10 only once – an 11th-place finish in June 2002. During that 12-race span, Stewart scored two wins, nine top-fives and 11 top-10s.

Stewart has displayed some monster drives at the Monster Mile, which is why Code 3 Associates paired with Stewart to drive membership. Another opportunity awaits Sunday in the FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks.


Speedway Digest Staff

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