READING, Pa. (Sept. 18, 2023) – The Smoke show returned to Maple Grove Raceway for an extended weekend and just like the last time will be leaving with the hardware.
Tony Stewart has earned his 4th Wally after a rain delayed final at Maple Grove Raceway. Stewart bested Madison Payne with a pass of 5.213 at 271.19 mph.
“I’ve raced a lot on Mondays in the past with NASCAR, IndyCar, or sprint car races. It’s different when you are drag racing. You get into a cadence and rhythm of the day because you have your adrenaline going up and down all day long. The rain that we had yesterday interrupts everything and gets you out of sync. This morning, you wake up, take a shower, and come warm up the car. Then you get dressed and run in the Final. It’s definitely not the way you want to have to go into Monday, but I’m glad we made it to Monday and I’m glad we pulled this off. The McPhillips Racing family does an awesome job. This is their home track, so there were a lot of friends and family in the pit this weekend. It doesn’t really add much pressure, but you obviously want to do well at your owners home track. Thank you to Mobil 1 and everybody that keeps us going. We are having a lot of fun doing this and I’m happy to have the points lead back. I have always liked the opportunity to get a points lead, even if by one point. It’s huge to get the lead with a few races left this year. We are going to make the most out of every single one of them.”
The next event on the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series schedule for Stewart is the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals September 22-24 at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina.
Tony Stewart, driver of the Mobil 1 Top Alcohol Dragster:
Earned No. 4 provisional qualifying position in Q1 on Friday (5.279 ET at 271.84 mph)
Earned No. 2 provisional qualifying position in Q2 on Friday (5.197 ET at 273.11 mph)
Secured No. 3 qualifying position based off of Friday’s Q2 run. In Q3 on Saturday, Stewart ran a 5.221 ET at 270.70 mph.
Advanced to Finals on Monday:
Round 1: 5.189 ET at 273.11 mph, defeated Fiona Crisp (5.250 ET at 276.97 mph)
Round 2: 5.234 ET at 266.64 mph, defeated Mike Lewis (5.207 ET at 274.22 mph)
Semifinals: 8.897 ET at 93.30 mph, defeated Brandon Greco on a red light (5.485 ET at 243.15 mph)
Finals: 5.213 ET at 271.19 mph, defeated Madison Payne (5.253 ET at 276.69 mph)
Currently leading the Top Alcohol Dragster national championship standings, 64 points ahead of Julie Nataas
Notes of Interest
Stewart earned his fourth win in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. His three previous wins came at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas, the North Central Division Race in Indianapolis, Indiana and the Northeast Division Race in Reading, Pennsylvania.
With the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals win at Maple Grove Raceway, Stewart took over the Top Alcohol Dragster championship standings.
In addition to a national championship, Stewart is also vying for a regional championship in the North Central Region. He’s leading the North Central Region championship point standings with a total of 309 points, 75 points ahead of teammate Mike Coughlin.
See the latest from NHRA:
Photo's: Chris Bishop | Racing Pro Media (RPM)