NASHVILLE — Shane Stewart, who retired at the end of last season, will return to the cockpit of a sprint car for the 60th annual NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals Aug. 11-14 at Iowa‘s Knoxville Raceway.
Trackhouse Entertainment Group founder Justin Marks announced his organization will sponsor Stewart, who will drive Bernie Stuebgen‘s familiar No. 71 sprint car at The Sprint Car Capital of the World.
Stewart, 45, retired to run Port City Raceway in his home state of Oklahoma, found the lure of winning the Nationals to great to pass up.
“To say that I am excited to get back behind the wheel of a sprint car is an understatement,” said Stewart. “I didn‘t think it would happen this year due to my commitment and duties of running Port City Raceway.”
Stewart is the 2015 winner of the Kings Royal and owns 36 World of Outlaw victories in 790 starts.
Stewart drove 32 races for Stuebgen last year and scored a victory for the team at Pennsylvania‘s Williams Grove Speedway.
“Bernie and Betsy (Stuebgen) have been so good to me and my family over the years I couldn‘t think of a better team to go run the Nationals with,” Stewart said. “To have my good friend Justin Marks supporting the effort with his Trackhouse brand makes this even more exciting for me to get back behind the wheel.”
Stuebgen, who fielded his No. 71 with Anthony Macri driving in the recent Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway, is happy to reunite with Stewart.
“Very excited to get to Knoxville this year with Shane coming back to take controls of the No. 71 and to work with the guys from Trackhouse makes it that much better,” he said.
Marks said he wanted to give Stewart one more chance at the Knoxville Nationals.
“Shane wants to win the most prestigious race in sprint car racing and I want to help him,” said Marks, whose Trackhouse Racing teams fields the No. 99 Chevrolet for Daniel Suarez in the NASCAR Cup Series. “I love nothing better than giving deserving drivers a chance and I think anyone who follows this sport knows Shane can win this race.”
Marks also owned a World of Outlaws team, Larson Marks Racing with Kyle Larson before relinquishing his stake to Larson in 2018. Stewart also drove for the team.
Stewart has 17 sprint car victories at Knoxville Raceway, including 10 in the 410 winged sprint car division. He‘s also won the 360 Knoxville Nationals five times.