Tony Stewart earned his second career NHRA Wally trophy Sunday at the NHRA North Central region Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event contested as part of Cleetus and Cars at the Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in Indianapolis. Stewart, who has raced and won all around the Hoosier state in NASCAR, IndyCar, USAC, and other genres of auto racing, added a drag racing crown to his home-state resume, driving his Mobil 1-backed, McPhillips Racing A/Fuel Dragster to a 5.257-second, 276.35 mph defeat of Jackie Fricke, who clocked a 5.308 at 274.27 mph.
Stewart qualified No. 1 in front of a packed crowd on Saturday, recording a 5.183 at 281.07 mph. He then opened Raceday with a 5.202 at 282.19 mph to defeat Jeff Chatterson, and then earned his way into the final round by ousting Jasmine Salinas with a 5.288 at 276.75 mph.
The win was Stewart’s first in NHRA regional competition, and follows up his breakthrough national event victory last month at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas.
“The last three races have been amazing. To win at Vegas and runner-up at Charlotte two weeks ago, then come here to the regional event in Indy and win is awesome. I’m really proud of this team and how much they have progressed. It was a rocky start to the year, but once they figured out the problems we were having, this thing has come to life. I feel like every run we make, we’re getting better and better and getting the window a little bigger of what makes the car happy.
“Rich (McPhillips Sr.), Richie (McPhillips Jr.), Renee, Wayne, Bill and Eric that are on my car are great. There’s an awesome synergy with everyone. There’s Tex and Chris on Jasmine’s (Salinas) car and Darrell and Chad on Mike’s (Coughlin) car and Matt’s (Cummings) car when he runs it. Everybody works together and we’re one giant team. It’s nice when you plan and envision a run before you do it and then it goes exactly like you had planned. The hard thing with this style of racing is keeping up with the racetrack and knowing how much power you can put to the car. They did a great job prepping the track and Richie did a great job keeping up with it, so we knew what to do with the car.”