12-11-2006: Bowtie Brigadiers
Source: GM Media
Chevrolet to Power Tony Stewart Racing in 2007 and Beyond
SPEEDWAY, Ind. - Two-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and officials from GM Racing and Chevrolet announced today that Chevrolet will power and sponsor Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) entries in the United States Auto Club (USAC) and the World of Outlaws Sprint Series for three years beginning in 2007.
In a press conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Stewart and Mark Kent, director of GM Racing, unveiled the partnership along with TSR's driver lineup.
Levi Jones will drive for TSR in the USAC National Midget and Sprint car divisions alongside teammate Tracy Hines, who will also compete in both divisions. Jones will pilot the No. 20 entry and Hines will drive the No. 21 machine. The two drivers will also compete in USAC Silver Crown events whenever the series races on dirt.
Paul McMahan returns for a second season behind the wheel of the No. 20 Winged Sprint car, as TSR rejoins the World of Outlaws full-time after spending the 2006 season competing with the National Sprint Tour and part-time with the World of Outlaws.
Chevrolet will serve as the primary sponsor and engine supplier for all of TSR's USAC teams, with Bass Pro Shops carrying on as an associate sponsor. For the No. 20 Winged Sprint car in the World of Outlaws, Chevrolet will also provide engines while serving as an associate sponsor. Bass Pro Shops will maintain its role as the team's primary sponsor.
"Our goal when we formed Tony Stewart Racing was to create a grassroots motorsports program that would compete for wins and championships while promoting qualified drivers to the next level," said Stewart, who earned his NASCAR success by way of USAC as he captured four USAC national championships, including the elusive Triple Crown in 1995 when he earned titles in each of USAC's top divisions - Sprint, Midget and Silver Crown. "We've been successful, but in order to remain successful we needed a partner committed to us and committed to motorsports. We found the perfect partner in Chevrolet."
Chevrolet's racing history is long and prosperous. The brand most recently wrapped up its 26th NASCAR manufacturer's championship in 2006 thanks to its Nextel Cup teams earning 23 collective victories - five of which came via Stewart and the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Team - to set a new modern era record (1972 to present) for manufacturer wins in a single season. Chevrolet can also lay claim to 596 Nextel Cup wins all-time (1949 to present), 23 Nextel Cup driver championships, six consecutive manufacturer titles in the GT1 class of the American Le Mans Series (2001-2006), seven Indianapolis 500 wins and five straight driver titles in CART (1988-1992).
Chevrolet's sponsorship of TSR marks its first official foray into USAC and the World of Outlaws.
"Our sponsorship of Tony Stewart Racing ensures Chevrolet's future success in motorsports," said Kent. "So much talent has come out of USAC and the World of Outlaws. It makes sense for Chevrolet to be in each series, not only to groom the talent that will one day compete here at Indy and at Daytona, but for us as a company to reach a very dedicated and passionate fan base. In addition, we want to establish Chevrolet as the engine of choice for open-wheel racers around the country.
"Tony Stewart has been a big part of General Motors for years. His IRL IndyCar Series championship in 1997 was with Oldsmobile. His first Nextel Cup championship in 2002 was with Pontiac. And his second Nextel Cup championship in 2005 was with Chevrolet. While his talent behind the wheel was obvious, we also noticed that he was equally talented as a team owner.
He's put together a very strong organization and we're proud to be a part of it."
Since its formation in November 2000, TSR has earned seven owner championships. Danny Lasoski earned TSR's first championship in its inaugural season competing in the World of Outlaws, taking the 2001 title. J.J. Yeley, Stewart's teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, earned a USAC Sprint car championship for TSR in 2003. And in a co-owner role with Bob East, TSR won four straight USAC Silver Crown championships from 2002 to 2005 with a handful of drivers that included Yeley, Kasey Kahne and Dave Steele. This year, TSR earned the USAC Sprint car title with driver Josh Wise.
Additionally, TSR has three Knoxville (Iowa) Nationals championships in the World of Outlaws, as Lasoski captured wins in the famed Winged Sprint car event in 2001, 2003 and 2004.
Chevrolet's support of grassroots racing extends beyond TSR, as Chevrolet continues its role as the "Official Pace Truck of Eldora Speedway." The brand will also be the title sponsor of a major, to be determined auto racing event at Eldora. Eldora Speedway is a renowned half-mile dirt oval in Rossburg, Ohio, owned by Stewart.
And whenever Stewart takes part in some extra-curricular racing away from his primary duties in NASCAR, he'll do it as a Chevrolet-sponsored driver in Chevrolet-powered race cars.
"No matter where I'm racing, I want to win," said Stewart. "The support Chevrolet has given us will allow Levi, Tracy and Paul the opportunity to compete for wins week in and week out. And when I'm able to steal some time away and run a Midget or a Winged Sprint car, I know I have the resources to not just compete, but to win.
"Grassroots racing has always been like a reset button for me. It's pure, and it reminds you why you got started in this business in the first place. With Chevrolet on board, we plan to deliver them the same kind of feeling."
Driver of the No. 20 in the USAC Midget and Sprint car divisions, and in USAC Silver Crown events when the series competes on dirt.
- Date of Birth: 6.10.1982
- Hometown: Olney, Ill.
- Residence: Brownsburg, Ind.
- Marital Status: Single
- Children: None
- Crew Chief: Bubby Jones
Highlights: Won 2005 USAC Sprint car championship... Named 2005 "Driver of the Year" by North American non-winged Sprint car poll voting panel... Earned 2005 "Earl's Fast Qualifier" championship... Set a new track record at Eldora Speedway for a non-winged Sprint car during the 2005 USAC 4-Crown Nationals (14.750 seconds)... Swept the 2005 USAC Sprint car "Tony Hulman Classic" at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track... Inaugural O'Reilly Sprint Bandit "Tour 'N' Topless" champion in 2005...Won 2004 Indiana Sprint Weeks point championship... Won 2004 Sprint Car Nationals event at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway... Awarded USAC "Most Improved Driver" in 2001.
Driver of the No. 21 in the USAC Midget and Sprint car divisions, and in USAC Silver Crown events when the series competes on dirt.
- Date of Birth: 5.1.1972
- Hometown: New Castle, Ind.
- Residence: New Castle, Ind.
- Marital Status: Married to Christa
- Children: None
- Crew Chief: Bobby Barth
Highlights: Has 91 USAC victories (47 Midget wins, 38 Sprint car wins and six Silver Crown wins)... Won the prestigious Chili Bowl in 2005...Earned 2002 USAC Sprint car championship... Earned 2000 USAC Silver Crown championship... Won 2003 "Earl's Fast Qualifier" championship in USAC Sprint car and Midget divisions... Finished second in USAC Midget point standings in 2002, 1997 and 1996... Finished second in USAC Sprint car point standings in 1999... Named USAC Sprint car "Rookie of the Year" in 1999... Won ARCA Midget Series Illinois state championship in 1996 and earned "Most Improved Driver" award in USAC Midget category... Earned 1992 Indianapolis Speedrome Midget Series "Rookie of the Year"... Voted "First Year Driver of the Year" in 1992 by the Hoosier Auto Racing Fan Club... Has 52 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts with two top-fives and three top-10s and has made 17 NASCAR Busch Series starts.
Driver of the No. 20 Winged Sprint car in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series.
- Date of Birth: 12.1.1970
- Hometown: Elk Grove, Calif.
- Residence: Nashville, Tenn.
- Marital Status: Married to Jan
- Children: Son, Brayden / Daughter, Kylie
- Crew Chief: Jimmy Carr
Highlights: Scored 12 World of Outlaws series victories... Captured Short Track National Championship at 1-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark., in 2002... Finished second in 2000 World of Outlaws Gumout championship standings... Earned 1999 All-Star Circuit of Champions "Rookie of the Year"... Named 1995 Motorpress "Driver of the Year"... Secured Calistoga (Calif.) track championship in 1995... 1995 California Speedweek champion... Began racing Sprint cars at age 16... Won the 1981 Grand National Quarter Midget championship.