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Tony Stewart: ‘When you can be at home and run the Super Bowl, that’s a pretty cool deal’

Tony Stewart: “When you can be at home and run the Super Bowl, that’s a pretty cool deal”

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — Legendary race car driver Tony Stewart is in the middle of his first full season of driving a Top Alcohol Dragster.

And this week, the Hoosier native gets to race that Top Alcohol Dragster in his home state.

“When it’s the biggest race of the year on top of being your home race, you want it that much more,” Stewart said. 

Stewart will be competing in the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. The weekend full of events is already underway and runs through Monday.

“I’m excited about my family getting to be there,” Stewart said. 

Stewart would love nothing more than to collect another victory in front of his family. And even though he’s still relatively inexperienced at driving these cars, it’s possible. He’s already proven he’s able to win in a Top Alcohol Dragster.

In fact, he picked it up extremely quickly. He got his first national victory in April, at the Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas.

“When I started testing with this team, the McPhillips family from Pennsylvania, when I started testing with these guys last year, I knew the first day we ran with each other that it was something special with the group of us,” Stewart said. “They’re just great people.”

The McPhillips family runs McPhillips Racing, the team Stewart races for in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. 

“I was really nervous,” Stewart said. “I was worried about making mistakes and they were very, very patient and very helpful in helping me learn how to do this and do it the right way. There’s a lot of things procedure-wise that people don’t see that the drivers and the crews have to do without even talking to each other. It’s all done with hand signals once they fire the engines.”

Stewart is currently second in the Top Alcohol Dragster standings.

“Honestly, it’s kind of like lifting weights,” Stewart said. “If you want to life 400 pounds, you don’t start with 400 pounds. You got to start smaller and work your way up. It’s kind of that way with our brain as well. The hardest thing that I struggled with was getting my brain to process the information as fast as it was happening. And the only thing you can do about that is keep making laps.”

Stewart has found success in Central Indiana before, most notably as a two-time winner of the Brickyard 400. And this weekend, he’s hoping to get another magical victory at a place that sits less than 10 miles away from Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“When you can be at home and run the Super Bowl, that’s a pretty cool deal,” Stewart said. 

Stewart is a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion. He is also a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the USAC Hall of Fame, among his many accolades.