When the returning Tony Stewart emerged for pre-race driver intros Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, those in the grandstands loudly welcomed back the three-time Sprint Cup champion.
But despite a strong run early, Stewart couldn’t send them home happy.
Contact with Kyle Busch at Lap 122 left his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet with damage, and then on Lap 172, Stewart’s night came to a halt after slamming the Turn 2 wall.
After that incident, Stewart dejectedly told his crew that they deserved a better result. But NASCAR AMERICA’S Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman believe that Stewart handled himself well throughout a difficult weekend.
You can hear what they had to say in the clip above.
Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.
Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.
Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.
A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.
A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.
Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.