Drag Illustrated Issue 169, June/July 2021 - Page 74

NE QUIET THURSDAY AFTERNOON in June , Leah Pruett and her fiancé , Tony Stewart , find themselves in a fairly rare situation once the racing season gets started : they ’ re both at home . This week , home is Stewart ’ s 15,000-plus-squarefoot cabin in Columbus , Indiana , the small town he grew up in . It ’ s situated on just over 400 acres of land known as Hidden Hollow , where deer , turkeys and elk roam the property .
The couple sits at the basement bar , where Stewart ’ s 1998 Indycar hangs on the wall in the background , flanked by helmets of every color worn by Stewart and fellow competitors in a variety of racing series .
Pruett and Stewart are only here for a few more hours before they set out for the next stop on their seemingly endless race schedule . Last week , Stewart was at Eldora Speedway , a legendary dirt oval track he owns in western Ohio , for a major dirt late model race . Pruett joined him on Thursday night , then after the race finished , they flew to New Hampshire , where Pruett was set to race at the NHRA New England Nationals in Epping . Stewart was to race two hours away in Stafford , Connecticut , at the debut of the Camping World SRX Series , a unique new series he started with legendary NASCAR crew chief Ray Evernham .
Stewart finished third in the SRX race Saturday night , then drove back to Epping for Sunday eliminations , where Pruett had qualified No . 10 and ended up losing in the second round to defending Top Fuel world champion Steve Torrence .
One might think the schedule would wind down during the week , but it was quite the opposite .
They spent Monday together to regroup , then on Tuesday Pruett drove up to the Don Schumacher Racing complex in Brownsburg to shoot four commercials for one of her sponsors , E3 Spark Plugs . Later that night , she flew down to Tampa for two full days of filming for Dream Giveaway commercials .
She returned home early Thursday morning . They ’ ll fly out later this afternoon to Knoxville , Iowa , where Stewart will win the second SRX race , finishing ahead of racing greats like 2021 Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves , Michael Waltrip and Bobby Labonte .
“ That ’ s a typical week for us ,” Stewart says . “ We ’ re just slammed . We ’ re busy . We ’ ve learned that when we both have days off together , we make the most of it . We work the amount that we need to work , but we try to work at the same time so when we ’ re done , we have quality time together .”
The two have been deeply involved in rac-
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