Name a race, pick a car, choose a venue and Tony Stewart has won them all. From the first time he put his go-kart on the track at Westport, Indiana in 1978, to becoming the driver of the #20 Home Depot Camry, owned by Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, he has won eleven championships.
A two-time champion in the Sprint Cup Series, Tony Stewart's best known titles are the two wins in the pinnacle series of NASCAR. He beat veteran Mark Martin in 2002 by thirty-eight points to win his first championship. His second championship came in 2005 when he beat out Greg Biffle by thirty-five points.
The Columbus, Indiana native has won championship after championship. Tony Stewart first came to NASCAR nine years ago via IRL IndyCar Series, where he held the championship in 1997. Before Indy cars, there was the United States Auto Club. Stewart left his mark on the USAC world by winning four championships, including the then unheard of "Triple Crown" win.
There are three national touring divisions in the United States Auto Club Silver Crown, Sprint and Midget. In 1994, Stewart won the title in the Midget division, finished tenth in the Sprint division and sixth in Silver Crown. He came back the next year and won the title in all three divisions. The USAC top-three national divisions run very different types of cars, competing on both dirt and asphalt. Before Tony Stewart, no driver had ever won all three championships in one season.
It became apparent at a very young age that Tony Stewart would be successful. When he was only eight-years-old, he claimed his first championship at the Columbus Fairgrounds in a 4-cycle rookie junior class race. He won two national karting championships as well, the International Karting Federation Grand National Championship in 1983 and the World Karting Association National Championship five years later. With the addition of the International Race of Champions title in 2006, Tony Stewart is clearly in his own league.
Tony Stewart is the only driver to ever win championships in open-wheel Silver Crown, Sprint and Midget cars, Indy cars and stock cars. His championship wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series make him one of only fifteen drivers to hold multiple titles in the series.
In his rise to fame, Tony Stewart has won some of motorsports' biggest races. He won the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard twice, once in 2005 then again in 2007. In 2005, 2006 and 2008, Stewart won the NASCAR Nationwide Series season opener race at Daytona. He won the famous Chili Bowl, which is a Midget race at the Tulsa Expo Raceway in Oklahoma first in 2002 and then again last year. In 2000, he won USAC's Copper World Classic at the Phoenix International Raceway as well as the Turkey Night Grand Prix at the Irwindale Speedway in California. He also won the 4-Crown Nationals in Rossburg, Ohio at the Eldora Speedway.
Even before Tony Stewart was winning races, he was a contender in the championship as a rising rookie. He won honors in the USAC in 1991, the Indianapolis 500 in 1996 as well as the Sprint Cup in 1999.
Tony Stewart began his racing career when he was only seven-years old. He raced go-karts with Nelson, his father acting as crew chief and car owner. By 1989, he transitioned to open-wheeled machines with more horsepower. First, racing Three-Quarter Midgets and then in turning his focus to the USAC. In 1994, Stewart's first USAC championship came thanks to five wins in the National Midget.
After his "Triple Crown" success, Stewart went on the IndyCar series, winning the championship in 1997. The way was paved to his current NASCAR success. After twenty-two NASCAR races under Joe Gibbs Racing in 1998, Tony Stewart was prepared to take the 1999 Cup.
During his spectacular rookie year, Stewart was victorious in winning three races as well as the Rookie of the Year title. Stewart pulled "Double Duty" when he raced in the Coca-Cola 600 and the Indianapolis 500 both in the same day. Driving a total of 1,090 miles that day, he was the first driver to attempt such a feat. Stewart did it again in 2001, coming in sixth at Indy for Chip Ganassi before heading to the Coca-Cola 500, where he came in third. That day, Tony Stewart ran eleven hundred miles all total.
In addition to being a winner behind the wheel, Stewart has also scored wins and championships as an owner. His, Tony Stewart Racing team has two entries in both the USAC Sprint car and Midget divisions and the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. His drivers are Tracy Hines and Levi Jones in the USAC and Kraig Kinser and current champion Donny Schatz in the World of Outlaws. Since it was established in 2000, Tony Stewart Racing has earned seven USAC championships and one World of Outlaws championship.
Tony Stewart is a track owner as well. He is the proud owner of Eldora Speedway and part-owner of both Macon Speedway in Illinois and International Raceway in Kentucky.
Stewart is not only a devoted racer, he is also devoted philanthropist. He established the Tony Stewart Foundation in 2003 with the goal to raise money for animals, children and drivers. Presently, the foundation has donated over $2 million for over eighty charitable organizations all over the country. His mother and sister are both involved in the Tony Stewart Foundation.
Tony Stewart currently resides in his childhood home in Columbus.