Tony Stewart earned his fourth win in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series — and his second national event triumph — Monday at the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pennsylvania, and in the process reclaimed the points lead in what has become a hotly-contested Top Alcohol Dragster championship battle.
Stewart defeated U.S. Nationals champion Madison Payne in the final round. Payne had defeated Stewart in the final round of his Top Alcohol Dragster debut in Las Vegas last fall.
“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,” Stewart said.
“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,” Stewart added.
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.