|Full Name||Anthony Wayne Stewart|
|Birthday||May 20, 1971|
|Net Worth||$70 million (estimated)|
Anthony Wayne "Smoke" Stewart is a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing. Regarded as one of NASCAR‘s most popular drivers in history, Stewart is known for his incredible talent across racing disciplines and larger-than-life personality.
Early Racing Career
Stewart‘s passion for racing started at a young age, driving go-karts and sprint cars on local Indiana dirt tracks. In 1991, he was named USAC Rookie of the Year after capturing three midget car championships at just 20 years old.
Stewart rapidly ascended the racing ranks over the next several years. He found success in the:
- Indy Lights Series
- IRL IndyCar Series
- Indy Racing League
The versatile Stewart won an improbable IndyCar championship in 1997 despite only competing part-time. This impressive feat caught the attention of NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs, who signed Stewart to drive in the Cup Series starting in 1999.
Stewart wasted no time excelling in NASCAR‘s top series. In his rookie season, he won three races and finished fourth in season points. Just two years later in 2002, Stewart captured his first NASCAR Cup Series championship driving the #20 car for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Over the next decade, Stewart cemented himself as one of NASCAR‘s elite drivers:
- 3 NASCAR Cup Series Championships (2002, 2005, 2011)
- 2 Daytona 500 wins (2005, 2007)
- 1999 Cup Series Rookie of the Year
Some experts regard his 2011 championship as the most impressive of his career. Stewart barely qualified for the Chase that season but went on a tear, winning five of ten playoff races to claim an improbable third title.
Life After Retirement
In 2016, Stewart announced he would retire from full-time Cup Series racing after 18 seasons. However, he remained heavily involved in motorsports as an owner of Stewart-Haas Racing and driving sprint cars.
Known for his charity work with children and animals, Stewart increased his racing schedule after retirement. He runs annual events like the Prelude to the Dream late model race. Stewart also makes frequent media appearances, displaying the same fiery personality that endeared him to fans during his racing career.
Now 51 years old, Stewart‘s passion for racing still burns bright. He will undoubtedly be remembered as one of NASCAR‘s greatest champions and most beloved personalities.