The Midwest TQ Racing League presented by Jenmarco.com is pleased to announce that July 9th will be “Tony Stewart Night” at the Bartholomew County Fair in Columbus, Ind. Three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart will be on hand and will be racing on the quarter mile dirt oval.
Stewart contacted MTQRL officials several months ago with his desire to once again compete in a three-quarter midget at his hometown track. Greg Staab, the MTQRL’s Director of Racing Operations, has been working with Stewart and the Bartholomew County Fair Board to find a suitable date that would fit into Stewart’s busy schedule. All parties have come to an agreement that July 9th, during the Bartholomew County Fair, will work for everyone.
Stewart began his racing career in 1980 when the then eight year old won the 4-Cycle Rookie Junior Class Championship at the Columbus fairgrounds. In 1989 Stewart transitioned to open wheel cars and began racing three-quarter midgets becoming very successful on the county fair circuit. With a limited number of starts in his first two seasons he compiled seven feature wins.
Although he has competed only a handful of times on his hometown track, Stewart has found his way to Victory Lane. On August 31, 1990 Stewart, driving the Larry Martz #38, held off another Columbus native, the late Robert Nichols for the feature win. Martz is the father of four-time and defending MTQRL Champion Tate Martz who will be one of several drivers looking to beat Stewart to the checkered flag.
Although this event will be Stewart’s first time racing with the MTQRL he has been involved with the league as both a sponsor and car owner. The Tony Stewart Racing Rookie of the Year Award has been presented the past three seasons to CJ Leary, Cody Kiewitt and Devin Fairchild. The Tony Stewart Foundation Leader of the Pack Award recognizes the driver who has led the most feature laps over the course of the season with Ronnie Combs (2011) and Nick Speidel (2012) taking those honors.
Combs drives Stewart’s potent #50 Beast/Honda and in twenty-one races over the past four seasons has amassed seventeen top five finishes including eight wins. Stewart will pilot this car on July 9th with Combs serving as crew chief.
Check the MTQRL website (www.mtqrl.com) as the race nears for information on ticket prices and race times.