OCALA, Fla. — In a surprising turn of events, three-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart withdrew from Saturday’s Bubba Army Winternationals finale at Bubba Raceway Park.
The event, sanctioned by Stewart’s Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions series, was to be Stewart’s third sprint car start on a schedule of roughly 80 races.
Instead, Stewart’s car was put back on the trailer before engine warm-ups ever began and Stewart himself then departed the three-eighths-mile oval, according to several reports.
Stewart’s publicist later released a statement in regards to the decision:
“Tony Stewart has scratched for the evening and is reconsidering his schedule with the All Star Circuit of Champions due to his ownership of the series,” the statement said. “Requirements of owning and managing the series supersede his own driving ambitions. We apologize for the change in tonight’s schedule and appreciate everyone’s understanding.”
The move comes four days after Stewart announced that Rush Truck Centers had joined TSR as a sponsor of his ‘Return to Dirt’ for around 50 sprint car races this season, though Stewart’s specific schedule was not announced.
He finished 17th and 20th during Thursday and Friday night’s All Star programs, respectively, and had to transfer through the B-Main on Thursday night, running second to defending series champion Chad Kemenah in that race.
Race Chaser Online will have more on this story as details become available.