LOVELAND, Ohio — Three-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart said when he stepped away from NASCAR racing that he wanted to run some of the country’s most prestigious short-track races.
He’s following through with that plan with the announcement Wednesday that Stewart will drive the famed No. 69 Hoffman Auto Racing sprint car in the May 27 Little 500 at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway.
“We were celebrating our 2016 Little 500 win on the frontstretch of Anderson Speedway (with driver Kody Swanson) when good friend Tara Armstrong said that Tony Stewart wanted to congratulate my son Rob and I on the big win. He was so gracious taking the time to call us. He also mentioned that running The Little 500 is on his bucket list and keep him in mind for 2017. I didn’t think I could get any more excited at the time, but I did. Tony driving this race for us will go down as a highlight in the storied 88-year history of HAR. Needless to say, my son Rob will come out of retirement to prepare and crew chief the car.”
It won’t be Stewart’s first outing in the Hoffman car.
“I’m thrilled to make my Little 500 debut with Hoffman Auto Racing,” Stewart said. “It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to compete in such a historic race with this team. Ironically, my only other outing in the Hoffman No. 69 was at Eldora Speedway, long before I owned it. The team was strong then and it has remained strong. Their win in last year’s Little 500 proved it, and I’m looking forward to driving their race car.”
Stewart, 45, became the first driver to win the USAC Triple Crown in a single season when he won the USAC midget, sprint car and Silver Crown championships in 1995.
This year’s Little 500 will be the 69th running of the event, which features sprint cars racing 500 laps on the quarter-mile asphalt Anderson Speedway.