And those are just the highlights.
While Stewart keeps a watchful eye over his business interests, he is quick to give credit to the people he has tasked with managing those properties. It’s what allows him to focus on his primary task of competing in the elite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It’s something that qualifies him for yet another role – ambassador for the companies that adorn the hood of his racecar.
This weekend in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, Stewart represents the efforts of Code 3 Associates.
Code 3 Associates (www.Code3Associates.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing professional animal disaster response and resources to communities, as well as providing professional training to individuals and agencies involved in animal-related law enforcement and emergency response. Since launching in 1985, the mission of Code 3 Associates has remained the same – to provide hands-on animal rescue and care operations during disaster events in the United States and Canada, and through certified animal welfare training seminars, which include animal cruelty investigation training for officers.
The continued operation of Code 3 Associates relies totally on the generosity of donors and the bravery of its responders. It’s a message Stewart aims to deliver with a strong run in his No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS this weekend at New Hampshire – a track where Stewart has spoken quite loudly in his 17-year Sprint Cup career.
Stewart is a three-time Sprint Cup winner at New Hampshire and in the last 20 races at the 1.058-mile oval, he has led the most laps of any Sprint Cup driver – 971 laps, or 16.2 percent. Stewart’s 1,032 total laps led in 32 career Sprint Cup starts at Loudon ranks second only to the 1,371 laps led by Jeff Gordon, who has nine more starts than Stewart. Stewart and Gordon are the only two drivers to lead more than 800 laps at New Hampshire.
Stewart, the three-time Sprint Cup champion, scored his first New Hampshire win in July 2000. He did it in dominating fashion, leading 156 of the 273 laps run in the rain-shortened race. New Hampshire win No. 2 came in July 2005, a year in which Stewart proved to be rock solid in the Granite State as he augmented his victory by finishing second in his September return. Of the 600 laps available in those two races, Stewart led 405 laps, or 67.5 percent.
Even when Stewart left the comfort of Joe Gibbs Racing at the end of the 2008 season to become a driver/owner at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), his prowess at New Hampshire remained wicked good. Since 2009, Stewart has led 366 laps at New Hampshire with the high-water mark coming in 2011 when SHR swept the track’s poles and races.
Former SHR driver Ryan Newman won the pole for the track’s July 2011 race and Stewart qualified second. The 1-2 start ended with a 1-2 finish, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished since Hendrick Motorsports started 1-2 and finished 1-2 in the 1989 Daytona 500. When the series returned to New Hampshire in September, Newman again won the pole, but it was Stewart who won the race. It was the first of a five-win campaign during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup that enabled Stewart to win his third Sprint Cup championship, augmenting the titles he earned in 2002 and 2005.
Stewart wears many hats, but his favorite remains his driver’s helmet. Always driven at New Hampshire, Stewart drives for Code 3 Associates.