By T.J. Buffenbarger
Auburn, MI – (July 18, 2014) – Tony Stewart’s comeback from a broken leg last season took another step forward on Friday by winning the Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt presented by ARP event at the Tri-City Motor Speedway. Stewart made his first start in a sprint car since the injury memorable one by moving up from the fifth starting spot and inherited the lead after Dustin Daggett drove off the backstretch. The win was Stewart’s second career SOD feature win and first since 2012.
While pulling into victory lane Stewart actually had thought he finished second, and was surprised to find out he won.
“It’s been eleven and a half months since I’ve been (in a sprint car), and I really missed it,” said Stewart in victory lane. Stewart also thanked his sponsor Rush Trailer Sales for having people on hand to witness his comeback victory and all of the race fans for their support.
Randy Hannagan started from the pole and took the lead at the start of the race. Hannagan led the first five laps before Daggett took the lead on laps six and immediately opened up a sizeable advantage. Meanwhile, Stewart methodically moved up from fifth starting spot to challenge Hannagan for second. Stewart moved into the runner up spot with eight laps to go. One lap later the unthinkable happened as while negotiating slower traffic Daggett drop off of the end of the race track, dropping back to third and handing Stewart the lead. From there it was all Stewart leading the rest of the way. Hannagan held onto the runner up spot while Ryan Ruhl moved past Daggett late in the race to take over the final podium spot. Daggett and Gregg Dalman rounded out the top five.
Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt presented by ARP
Tri-City Motor Speedway – Auburn, MI
Friday July 18, 2014
Hoosier Tire Heat Race #1 (8 Laps): 1. Dustin Daggett, 2. Tony Stewart, 3. Gregg Dalman, 4. Joe Geibe, 5. Dan McCarron, 6. Tank Brakenberry, 7. Ralph Brakenberry.
All Star Performance / Comp Cams Heat Race #2 (8 Laps): 1. Troy Chehowski, 2. Randy Hannagan, 3. Brad Lamberson, 4. Chase Ridenour, 5. Mark Aldrich, 6. Chris Pobanz, 7. Andy Chehowski
Speed Pro Heat Race #3 (8 Laps): 1. Ryan Ruhl, 2. Gavin Hunyady, 3. Kyle Pitts, 4. Brett Mann, 5. Robert Huisken, 6. Craig Karazim, 7. Eric Smith.
Nitro Black Dash (4 Laps): 1. Chase Ridenour, 2. Joe Geibe, 3. Brad Lamberson, 4. Dan McCarron.
Engine Pro A-Main (25 Laps): 1. Tony Stewart, 2. Randy Hannagan, 3. Ryan Ruhl, 4. Dustin Daggett, 5. Gregg Dalman, 6. Kyle Pitts, 7. Gavin Hunyady, 8. Brad Lamberson, 9. Brett Mann, 10. Troy Chehowski, 11. Dan McCarron, 12. Joe Geibe, 13. Mark Aldrich, 14. Chase Ridenour, 15. Craig Karazim, 16. Chris Pobanz, 17. Robert Huisken, 18. Eric Smith, 19. Tank Brakenberry. DNS: Andy Chehowski, Ralph Brakenberry.
Lap leaders: Hannagan 1-5, Daggett, 6-18, Stewart 19-25