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  • Writer's pictureNick Cavanaugh @Car_Sick_Nick

Stewart Secures Top Fuel Semifinal Spot at NHRA Arizona Nationals

Top Fuel "rookie," the NASCAR Hall of Famer showcased his skills reaching the semifinals on Sunday

Tony Stewart, the legendary racer, continues to dominate in various forms of motorsports, and there's no stopping him. And this past weekend at the NHRA Arizona Nationals, he proved once again why he's a force to be reckoned with.

Despite a challenging track and tough conditions, Stewart, also known as "Smoke," showed his true colors. His Top Fueler may have lost traction during qualifying rounds, but his TSR Dodge//SRT team, led by Neal Strausbaugh and Mike Domagala, made the necessary adjustments for the eliminations on Sunday. And boy, did it pay off.

Stewart triumphed in not just one, but two rounds of competition. In the first round, he defeated former World Champion Brittany Force, marking his first-ever Top Fuel round win. This comes after an impressive performance last year in the Alcohol Dragster division, where he secured two NHRA national event wins. Talk about making a statement.

Moving on to the second round, Stewart faced off against Billy Torrance and emerged victorious, securing his spot in the semifinals. There, he went head-to-head with Justin Ashley, a familiar opponent from the Gatornationals. It was a close race, but unfortunately, Stewart fell just short, with Ashley taking the win by a narrow margin of 3.844 to 3.885.

While the loss may sting a bit, there's no denying Stewart's incredible talent and determination. He's proven time and time again that he's a force to be reckoned with on the track. “The struggles continued Friday and Saturday which we went through at Gainesville and Pomona,” said Stewart. “There were just difficult track conditions on Friday. Saturday wasn't much better and was still a little frustrating for the team. On raceday Sunday, we had to go up against the number two qualifier (Brittany Force). We pedaled the throttle down to the finish line and got to the next round. Honestly, it's kind of the break this TSR Dodge//SRT Direct Connection team needed. It doesn’t sound like a lot just winning one round. But having that opportunity to keep working on this car on a tricky racetrack meant a lot."

“We've had three very challenging racetracks this year because of weather, different conditions and different variables. The encouraging thing is we're going to Vegas next week and we're all very confident the track is going to be in great shape. I never thought just winning one round would take such a weight off your shoulders. It’s kind of like when we made the first run at Gainesville. I kind of relaxed and settled in. We’ll just keep digging. I’m looking forward to next week in Las Vegas.” shared Stewart.

Stewart now heads to Las Vegas to participate in the highly anticipated NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway's Strip, aiming to secure another victory on the Strip, following his impressive 2023 wins. Notably, Stewart emerged victorious in the Alcohol Dragster class.

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


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