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Racing legend Tony Stewart earned a big victory for the National Lacrosse League Rochester Knighthawks this past weekend, as he won his heat in the Empire Super Series at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.
“It’s a big half-mile track and for him to spank regular drivers was unbelievable,” said Glenn Styres, who co-owns Ohsweken Speedway with his brother and Knighthawks Owner/GM Curt Styres. Glenn raced in the Knighthawks No. 0 car and finished third in the heat. “He beat all the best guys. He won in a straightaway.”
Stewart also finished third in the dash and was set to race in the feature, but the event was rained out. The Canandaigua Empire Super Sprints featured Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stock and Pure Stock. The partnership with Stewart still seems like a dream to Styres.
“I still have trouble believing, but it’s happening,” said Styres, who is an accomplished driver in his own right. “The Ohsweken Flyer” has amassed 27 wins, two Ohsweken Speedway Sprint Car titles and a series record four championships with the Southern Ontario Sprints.
Stewart drove the Knighthawks car after he completed his time trials at Watkins Glenn. He represented one of the rising teams in the National Lacrosse League, fresh off a 10-6 record and in a three-way tie for first in the East Division in 2011. The Knighthawks are a cornerstone franchise, entering their 18th season, and have won two NLL championships.
Stewart recently won his first World of Outlaws race on June 27th at Ohsweken Speedway. His appearance was part of a two-day visit that included a Meet and Greet the previous night. The victory was monumental for the veteran driver.
Having Stewart drive the Knighthawks car in Canandaigua was also a big victory for the NLL team.
“This will certainly be good notoriety for the Rochester Knighthawks,” said Styres before the race and he was accurate in his observation as local media outlets covered the event.
Stewart, who drives the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has won 11 championships during his 33-year career. His is most recognized for the two titles he scored in NASCAR’s pinnacle series. On July 10, 2008, Stewart expanded his role in the racing world by becoming a driver/owner in the Sprint Cup Series with the forming of Stewart-Haas Racing. Stewart is also known for his philanthropy with the establishing of his own charitable foundation in 2003. For information on Tony Stewart, go to www.tonystewart.com.