Editor’s Note: The following was the lead story on page 2 of the Sept. 25, 1996 issue of National Speed Sport News.
Which Way Will Stewart Turn?
MARTINSVILLE, Va. — For most of this season, Tony Stewart has been in a situation similar to dating two girls at the same time.
While driving for John Menard in the Indy Racing League, Stewart has given the indication that the IRL was his top priority. But when Stewart would head South to compete for Harry Ranier’s NASCAR Busch Grand National team, the goal of becoming a top-notch stock car driver made it appear NASCAR was his No. 1 goal.
Then came last week’s announcement that Ranier was forming a Winston Cup team with Ford and Stewart as the driver.
It appears Stewart has arrived at a party only to find both girls waiting on him.
Which one will he ultimately choose?
Sounds like the premise for a TV sitcom.
All that is missing is Kramer from Seinfeld to come bursting through the door.
Last Tuesday, Ranier announced he had struck a 3-year deal with Ford to run Stewart in NASCAR Winston Cup beginning in 1997. That has left Menard feeling jilted, like the date who was used only to impress another girl.
Stewart, considered the poster boy of the Indy Racing League, has been splitting 1996 between the IRL and the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series. Ranier, Stewart’s Busch series team owner, announced last Tuesday he will bring Stewart to NASCAR Winston Cup racing for the next three years, beginning in 1997. The team plans to run a full Winston Cup schedule in a Ford Thunderbird.
– Lapped Petty Earns Ticket on the Highway
Richard Petty, who is running for secretary of state in North Carolina, was sited for hit-and-run and reckless driving after bumping a car from behind while attempting to pass it on Interstate 85.
– Jeff Swindell Wins Gold Cup
Jeff Swindell penny of the $20,000 Silver Dollar Speedway Promoter John Padjen awarded him for winning the Skoal Outlaw Series’ 43rd annual Gold Cup Race of Champions.
– Raines Nips Senneker
The American Speed Ass’n points race got a lot tighter as Tony Raines won the Iowa 300 at Hawkeye Downs Speedway.