TDIH: Janurary 24, 1998


smoke98disney

The 1997 IRL Champion, Tony Stewart opens the 1998 season by winning the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World. Stewart started from pole and led 132 laps in the caution filled event, en route to his second career victory. In doing so, he would leave Florida as the first driver in IRL history to lead more than 1000 laps, having only needed 96 to eclipse the milestone. Another record would be set that year, as Stewart led at least one lap in 10 consecutive races, only failing to lead in the final race at Las Vegas. Driving for owner John Menard, ‘Smoke’ would pick up an additional win that year, and nab three more poles. He would leave IRL at the end of the season, debuting in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series the following year, driving the #20 Home Depot Pontiac for Joe Gibbs Racing.

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