Tony Stewart took a week off from some of his other racing obligations for a little down time. His itinerary?
Eight towns across Ohio in nine days. The three-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion plans to follow the All Star Circuit of Champions – the 410 winged sprint car racing series he owns – across the state for Ohio Sprint Speedweek.
On Saturday night, that brought Stewart to Eldora Speedway for the second leg. The Eldora owner also brought his No. 14 winged sprint car and kicked up some dirt with the All Stars on the half-mile, high-banked oval. As owner of the ASCoC, Stewart said he wanted to find one night to race before spending the rest of the week behind the scenes.
“This is the only night of Sprint week I can run. I wanted to get a night I knew we were probably all right,” said Stewart, who finished ninth. “It’s our busiest week of the year so I wanted to make sure everything goes the way we want it to. It’s a big deal to everyone in the state of Ohio and it’s a big deal to the All Stars, too.
“It’s worth it to me to take this week off and one night was okay to come here and run. But the rest of it I need to be a boss.”
Eldora is Stewart’s track, but Pennsylvania driver Tim Shaffer owned it Saturday night. He led all 30 laps for his first All Star victory at Eldora. It was the 57th career All Star win for the four-time ASCoC champion. Shaffer also set fast time (14.466 seconds), won his heat and dash races. He started second on the outside pole for the feature and rocketed to a lead that was never challenged.
“We’ve been so close,” Shaffer said. “We keep beating on the door and if we keep putting ourselves in position we’re going to get there.”
Eldora fan favorite Rico Abreu of California…