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  • Writer's pictureNick Cavanaugh @Car_Sick_Nick

Stewart Faces Unexpected Setback After Defeat in Top Fuel First Round

Stewart breaks traction at the starting line giving Torrence the win

Racing legend, Tony Stewart, faced off against the unpredictable weather and timing issues at the NHRA Winternationals in his TSR Mobil 1/Dodge//SRT HEMI engine-powered Top Fuel dragster during only his second NHRA Top Fuel national event.

Following a delay in qualifying caused by weather conditions, the experienced auto racing champion skillfully guided his Mobil 1/Dodge//SRT Top Fueler to an outstanding 3.737 run on Saturday afternoon, clinching the third position. Unfortunately, NHRA officials invalidated the run due to a timing system error, resulting in Stewart being placed 13th in the Top Fuel lineup.

During Sunday's initial round of competition, Stewart found himself facing off against the formidable four-time World Champion, Steve Torrence. Unfortunately, Stewart's dragster struggled to maintain traction right from the starting line, allowing Torrence to seize the victory.

“This was one of those weekends where anything that could go wrong, went wrong,” said Stewart. “We had some track issues on Friday. It was really hard to get down the racetrack. A lot of cars struggled. Saturday’s qualifying session was really the elephant in the room for us. We had a solid pass. But there was some kind of a glitch in the timing and scoring system, so NHRA had to unfortunately throw our run out. The way that lined us up in the bracket, we went against Steve Torrence on race day. Steve is a strong competitor and his CAPCO team with proven performance."

“Unfortunately, we smoked the tires about 100 feet out. I think we’re experiencing growing pains right now. I’m 50 to 55 pounds heavier than my wife and there are a couple other variables that are different with this chassis. It’s a tough challenge for Neal and Mike right now. As far as the driving side goes, I’m getting more and more comfortable and gaining more confidence. I wish I could have taken them further through the day on Sunday.”

The NHRA Arizona Nationals will see Stewart hitting the track for the nitro qualifying on Friday, April 5th at 4:30 p.m. PDT. Fans can catch two more qualifying rounds on Saturday, March 23rd at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. PDT, leading up to the final eliminations on Sunday at 11 a.m. PDT.

Nick Cavanaugh | @Car_Sick_Nick | All Roads Lead to The Motor City


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