via Imago

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Last month, Tony Stewart and Leah Pruett announced a massive shift in their lives. To start a family, the power couple decided that Stewart would replace Pruett in the NHRA Top Fuel class competition. And now, with her car in steady and trusted hands, it seems Leah Pruett is ready to hand over her duties. One part of that process is vacating her beloved racing lounge room.

Giving everyone a peek at the memorabilia fans have gifted her through the years, Tony Stewart’s wife expressed her gratitude towards them for their support. Having come off her most successful season, Pruett also claimed that she had made peace with the decision and would be present by the trackside.

Leah Pruett in a quest to find a new home for her prized possessions


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Leah Pruett will be opting out of racing temporarily and is preparing to help Tony Stewart in the transition. As she emptied her lounge, she shared her thoughts about the departure on Instagram and said, “I have been racing out of this lounge for past six years. It’s time for me to gather some of my things and make room for Tony to race out of this lounge for next year. I’m not totally getting kicked out, but I have a lot of incredible items from fans throughout the years. I just want to say thank you so much. And that they are going to find a new home…”

Leah Pruett could’ve had a chance to end the 2023 NHRA season with a piece of silverware. However, an elimination at the hands of Doug Kalitta in the penultimate round of the championship at Ponoma ended her dreams. With Tony Stewart coming close to winning the title in the Top Alcohol Class, it could’ve been a year of success for the couple.

Revealing the foreseeable future in NHRA, she reiterated that she’d continue to support the team, albeit off the track. Divulging her emotions about the temporary goodbye, she added, “I’m really not going anywhere. I’m still going to be at the track and be able to see everybody, but this is kind of a key moment. I always kind of check in with myself. What’s my number one emotion that I feel through all of this? I’m really happy and proud to be able to make this decision and for this team to keep going with Tony and his journey.”


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And now that Tony is officially taking over Leah’s place, let’s take a look at what we can expect from ‘Smoke’. Stewart’s adaptability makes him one of the most prolific threats in the Top Fuel Class. Despite having raced in the division sparsely, he has the potential to produce a title-challenging run in his second year as a full-time NHRA driver. Will he be able to make the most out of this temporary stint?

Stewart won’t need much time to adapt to Top Fuel!

The 2023 NHRA season was a landmark year for Tony Stewart. Smoke ended his second season as the owner of Tony Stewart Racing with a Funny Car championship win for Matt Hagan. Leah Pruett’s third-place finish also added to a successful year. When Tony was named the Person of the Year by the NHRA National Dragster All-Star Team panel, it was like icing on the cake.

However, making a transition to Top Fuel cars can be challenging. Pruett understands this well. But Tony Stewart’s ability to adapt to different vehicles and implement strategies is no joke. His accomplishment of being the only driver to win IndyCar and NASCAR championships is a well-documented testament to his versatility.

“You can’t drive a Top Fuel dragster very well until you drive a Top Fuel dragster. He’s done more than enough of what it takes to be in this position,” said Leah Pruett.


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“I have things in mind of what we will address when he gets in the Top Fuel car, of what to do at different parts of the racetrack depending on track temp, how you pedal it, how you pedal it at the hit versus 200 feet down-track. These are all things that take laps [to master], and we’ll identify them as soon as they happen. He’s proven to me that he can conceptualize them and then execute, and I really couldn’t ask for anything more,” Pruett further added.

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Even Top Fuel championship contender Mike Salinas knows Tony Stewart can seriously threaten his championship hopes. Highlighting his disguised potential as a driver, Salinas stated, “He knows everybody, and he acts like he’s nobody special – he’s just Tony Stewart. What I love about him is he treats himself like he’s a regular guy and he doesn’t want to be treated any special because he’s Tony Stewart.” He had a positive mindset about Stewart and stated that it would be a fun experience.


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The Top Fuel Class grid is already bracing itself for Tony Stewart’s impact. Should TSR capitalize on 2023’s success and bring more raw pace to its cars, it will instantly become a favorite for the championship.

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