via Getty

via Getty

Since 2013, Leah Pruett has competed in NHRA Top Fuel. In 2023, she achieved a career-best third-place finish in the championship, competing for Tony Stewart Racing. That being said, you would think she’d continue her campaign in the series in a quest for the title. But as it so happens, the American racer won’t be on the grid in 2024. Why? Because she’s being replaced by none other than her husband and the team’s owner, Tony Stewart. While the situation isn’t what it seems like, this move will ensure the continuation of one aspect Stewart lives by. At least for another year.

The Stewart-Haas Racing team owner has surprisingly never competed against his wife. Is that intentional, or has luck never favored the couple’s joint shenanigans on the track? Well, our questions have been answered as, in a recent interview with RACER, Stewart gave an amusing insight as to why viewers won’t see him go up against Pruett in the near future.

Tony Stewart’s bid to preserve his conjugal bliss


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Tony Stewart has got his priorities right! Having married NHRA driver Leah Pruett in 2021, it seems the only thing on Stewart’s mind has been a happy marriage. He recently confirmed how nothing trumps his need to maintain a peaceful household. Elaborating on why competing against his wife is something that he doesn’t even remotely think about, Tony Stewart joked, 

“Here is the reality of this that most people don’t even think about. And I am going to speak from a husband’s side. Running in Top Fuel would be the worst thing I could do for my relationship with my wife.What made Stewart say that? To get where he’s coming from, it’s important to understand the couple’s racing mindset. As for Tony Stewart, with his three Cup Series championships and a staggering 49 Cup race wins, it’s easy to deduce that he’s a NASCAR hotshot. But so is his wife in the Top Fuel category, with 12 wins under her name. That’s where the problem lies for the NASCAR driver.

While the couple’s achievements are a reminder of their abilities, it also sheds light on their highly competitive nature. Stewart explained, “If we have to race each other and I win, I immediately get an e-ticket to sleep on the couch for the rest of my life, and I will never get invited back to the bedroom.” But he also revealed what would happen if the outcome would be the other way around.

“If she beats me, then every morning when I go in front of the mirror in the bathroom and look at myself when I get up, and right before I go to bed, I can’t even look at myself because I got beat by my wife. So that’s how competitive we are. Leah seems to think it wouldn’t be that bad, and it’s not bad till it happens,” he said. As racing drivers, being competitive is ingrained in them. And that personality trait is precisely why Tony Stewart thinks it’s best to support each other instead of competing against each other.

However, the team owner wouldn’t have to contemplate racing against his spouse and SHR driver as she recently announced she’s stepping back to shift her focus to starting a family. That being said, Stewart didn’t totally shelve the prospect of competing against his wife.

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A Stewart vs. Pruett racing showdown may still be on the cards


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As a regular name in the NASCAR circuit, Tony Stewart has come a long way. From stock car racing to drag racing, there’s little left for the driver-turned-team owner to dip his toes into. As Tony is set to replace his wife in the NHRA Top Fuel Dragster next season, he discussed the possibility of racing against his NHRA drivers, Pruett and Matt Hagan. Despite the prospect not being something he’s particularly fond of, Stewart iterated how his “never say never” attitude might get him to take up those chances.

“I feel like my experience in racing, it’s just something that doesn’t make sense for me to do that. Matt Hagan is way too big for me to kick his b*tt and kick him out of his car. So we got two great drivers and teams in the Pro categories, and I am content being a sportsman driver,” he revealed, adding, But, the one thing at the end of the day that I’ve always learned, and it’s been true, through his whole career is I’ve learned to never say never. Even though we are saying this, you never know what’s going to happen.


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Seeing the couple race against each other would definitely be exciting. Who do you think will win? Let us know in the comments below!

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