Everyone knows Tony Stewart loves to race and loves to challenge himself on and off the track. The question is how many challenges are left for Smoke to tackle? One challenge on his mind entering the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season is to finally win the Daytona 500.
After going through his aggressive stage early on in his career, Stewart has become one of the most respected drivers in the garage. He has overcome his anger issues and is now treated as one of the senior drivers in the Sprint Cup garage.
Daytona Speedweeks has always been Stewart’s time to shine until the 500 rolls around. He has three Budweiser Shootout wins and he dominates the NASCAR Nationwide race when he straps into the car. The early season is when Stewart is in his element despite what many say about his success during the month of July.
For some racing begins in January with the annual Chili Bowl Nationals, an open wheel midget race. The event draws thousands to Tulsa, Oklahoma to see some of the best race, including NASCAR drivers. Stewart, who use to race in this event a lot, hasn’t done it in several years.
Stewart was the Grand Marshal for the Chili Bowl Nationals in 2011 and even placed a self imposed ban on participating, but it will not surprise any race fan if he straps in and goes for it in 2012. Stewart won the event in 2002 and 2007.
Another event for Stewart to compete in would be the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Being one of the best road races in the NASCAR circuit, this shocks many fans. Something tells me he will more than likely be racing at dirt tracks in the weeks leading up to the Budweiser Shootout.
Stewart’s World of Outlaws(WoO) team will be racing and he has strapped in a few times in previous off-seasons. He won his first WoO main event last summer in Canada, and just like when he straps into his No. 14 Chevy, he is competitive.
This all leads up to Stewart pursuing his first Daytona 500 win. Should he focus spending time with his new crew chief, Steve Addington instead of keeping a busy racing schedule? NASCAR fans know he can win at Daytona International Raceway. After all he has three NASCAR Sprint Cup wins in the Coke Zero 400(was previously the Pepsi 400). Now it’s time for him to check off the most important win on his bucket list and win the 54th Annual Daytona 500 on Febuary 26, 2012.