Tony Stewart Steps in Wife’s Shoe for the NHRA Season as the Power Couple Prepare To Start a Family

Published 12/07/2023, 9:28 AM EST

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Tony Stewart is a man who does not step away from challenges and at 52 years old, the NASCAR legend is set to take on a new one. The three-time Cup Series champion will replace his wife Leah Pruett in the Top Fuel dragster that she drove to achieve a career-best third-place finish in the NHRA standings this season. Moreover, Pruett said that she would step away from racing so that they could start a family together.

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This season, Pruett won two races while racing for Tony Stewart Racing, the team that won the Funny Car championship alongside Matt Hagan, in a Dodge Top Fuel dragster. Pruett has won 12 Top Fuel races in her career. Meanwhile, in 2023, Stewart competed in the Top Alcohol Dragster class for the whole NHRA season.

Tony Stewart steps up as wife takes time off after pondering long-term implications

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In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Pruett said that the decision was an incredibly personal one and that time wasn’t on anyone’s side. She also outlined the challenges female racers face and that the issue she was facing was not gender-neutral. The NHRA top-fuel dragster racer also believes that she made the correct decision after thinking about things in the long term.

“This is an incredibly personal decision, and what led to making this decision are other personal situations that have happened in my life and our lives,” Pruett said as per AP. “Time is not on anyone’s side, and time is not gender neutral. But when it comes to being a female and a female racer, time is particularly not on your side.

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“One of the decision-making factors was, ‘What do we want our life to look like when we have a family?’ And it is easy to sit back and have the immediate view that we’ve got this killer race team and we can do what we didn’t do this year, which is win a championship. But stepping back and thinking about long term and what our family looks like, it was just the right time at the right decision.”

Some may suggest that her attempt at starting a family does not require her to completely step away from racing but the situation Leah Pruett is facing is not something everyone goes through.

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Leah Pruett explains the medical condition forcing her to step away from racing

Pruett decided earlier this year that she would take 2024 off to concentrate on starting a family. Even if she had won the Top Fuel championship in 2023, her choice would not have altered. According to AP, she has a medical condition in which her thyroid is unable to produce adequate hormones due to an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

“Hashimoto’s gives me a lot of challenges throughout the year in racing, and it took a lot to get that under control just to race, more or less under control to start a family,” she said. “There are no guarantees or promises on when I will be back in the seat, but I have every intention of returning as soon as I can. Everything in my heart says that I will return to driving Top Fuel as soon as I feel ready.”

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She might not be racing in the NHRA competition next year but Leah Pruett will be taking extensive care of her health. We wish her all the best for 2024 and hope that she manages to achieve her dream of starting a new family with Tony Stewart.

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Written by:

Nilavro Ghosh

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Abhishek Ramesh

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