Tony Stewartis the only driver ever to have won championships in both the IndyCar Series (1997) and the NASCAR Cup series, capturing that prestigious title in 2003, 2005 and 2011. As a native of nearby Columbus, Indiana, Stewart achieved a boyhood dream by driving in the Indianapolis 500 five times, earning a career-best finish of fifth after leading 64 laps in 1997. He made short-track racing history in 1995 as the first driver to capture the United States Auto Club’s “Triple Crown,” winning USAC’s National Midget, Sprint Car and Silver Crown Series championships all in the same year. Stewart moved to NASCAR’s prestigious Cup Series in 1999 and won a total of 49 races before retiring in 2016.
One of the most emotional and memorable moments in NASCAR and IMS history took place at the 2005 Brickyard 400, when Stewart finally won at his home track, becoming the first Indiana-born driver since Wilbur Shaw in 1940 to win at IMS. Stewart won again at the Brickyard in 2007 and became co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing with the 2009 NASCAR season. Besides his own championships as a driver/owner in 2011, he won the championship as team owner with driver Kevin Harvick in 2014. Stewart also owns Tony Stewart Racing, which has competed in multiple short-track racing series.
Courtesy of Indianapolis Motors Speedway Museum