MOHNTON, Pa. — Tony Stewart continued his winning ways Monday at Maple Grove Raceway as he scored the Top Alcohol victory in Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series competition during the rain-delayed Pep Boys NHRA Nationals.
Stewart, the three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, defeated Madison Payne in the finals by 0.04 seconds to earn his fourth win of the season.
“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,” Stewart said following his win. “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.”
With the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals win at Maple Grove, Stewart took over the Top Alcohol Dragster points lead. His three previous wins came at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas, the North Central Division Race in Indianapolis and the Northeast Division Race earlier this season at Maple Grove.
“The McPhillips Racing family does an awesome job,” Stewart said. “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.”