Tony Stewart and his sprint car series will race before limited crowds in S.D.

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Tony Stewart will be racing in front of a limited crowd with his All Star Circuit of Champions next weekend in South Dakota.

The three-time NASCAR Cup champion will be competing May 29-30 at Park Jefferson International Speedway in the winged sprint car series that he purchased in January 2015.

In a Thursday release, the All Star Circuit of Champions announced the races will be held at the Jefferson, South Dakota, short track with a limited general admission crowd. Fans will be socially distanced according to CDC recommendations because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Tickets will be sold online for admittance to the 0.4-mile dirt track.

Here’s the release from the series:

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (May 21, 2020) – Eager to battle for a pair of $6,600 top prizes, three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and recent NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, Tony Stewart, will accompany the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 during their first full-point weekend of the season and visit Jefferson, South Dakota’s Park Jefferson International Speedway on Friday and Saturday, May 29-30. Originally slated to award a pair of $5,000 pay days, the weekend now carries a total winner’s share equaling $13,200, with credit due to Kevin Rudeen of Rudeen Racing.

Tony Stewart is a five-time winner with the traveling All Stars over the course of his storied career, most recently claiming $26,000 during the Rayce Rudeen Foundation event at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa, on Sunday, July 28, 2019. The 2020 Rayce Rudeen Foundation race, once again awarding a $26,000 top prize, will be contested at the Plymouth Dirt Track in Plymouth, Wisconsin, on Thursday, July 30.

Always finding ways to contribute to sprint car racing, Kevin Rudeen decided to beef up the payouts at Park Jefferson International Speedway by adding a $3,000 kick to each night’s feature purse, ultimately bumping the top prizes from $5,000 to $6,500. In addition, the runner-up and third-place finishers on each evening will receive an extra $500, with the fourth and fifth-place finishers on each evening receiving an extra $250.

“I’m just looking forward to seeing sprint cars back on the track on a consistent basis,” said Kevin Rudeen. “I hope to be able to get to South Dakota next weekend to watch in person, but if not, I’ll be tuned into FloRacing. I appreciate the efforts of Tony and his team to get the season started.”

Earlier this week, the world-renown Trunk Bar headquartered in Knoxville, Iowa, posted $100 per night bumping the total to $6,600-to-win on Friday and Saturday.

As an added bonus, Kevin Rudeen will also award $250 to each heat race winner at Park Jefferson International Speedway.

“Kevin (Rudeen) has been nothing but supportive of the All Stars for the last two years and the sprint car industry on the whole for many more years,” said Tony Stewart. “It was pretty cool winning the inaugural Rayce Rudeen Foundation race last year at 34 Raceway and I look forward to defending the title this year at one of my favorite tracks – Plymouth, WI. I’m really excited that we are getting the season started next weekend with the All Stars. Ten races over a 17-day period beginning with two at Park Jefferson. It’s been a long while since I’ve raced in South Dakota.”

Online registration is now open for all teams entering action with the All Stars and IRA during the two-day visit to Park Jefferson International Speedway on Friday and Saturday, May 29-30. Registration and pit passes for the two-day program can be filled out and purchased by clicking here. Sprint car teams are encouraged to complete the online registration process at their earliest convenience. IRA member teams please contact Steve Sinclair at siraprez@sbcglobal.net before registering.

The IMCA SportMods and IMCA Stock Cars will also register through the same link here. The IMCA SportMods, featured on Friday, and IMCA Stock Cars, featured on Saturday, will each compete for a $400 top prize. Drivers will be competing for state, regional and national points.

General admission tickets for each night of the first-ever All Star invasion of Park Jefferson International Speedway are now available for $29. Children 5 and under will be admitted at a discounted price of $5. To comply with the social distancing recommendations upheld by the CDC, ticket purchases will be available online with only a limited number of tickets available. Those wanting to purchase tickets can do so by visiting here. No reserved seating is available and any remaining tickets will be sold on the day of the respective events.

Competitor Registration: https://sd-allstarentryform.typeform.com/to/O9ceqS 

General admission tickets: https://market.myracepass.com/store/tickets/?store=11275

Park Jefferson International Speedway pit gates will open at 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, May 29-30, with general admission gates opening at 4 p.m. The mandatory All Star drivers meeting will take place at the Series command center, following social distancing guidelines, at 5:30 p.m., followed by motor heat at 6, hot laps at 6:30 and time trials at 7.

A rain date of Sunday, May 31, may be utilized if weather should become a factor during the Friday or Saturday program. If both Friday and Saturday are rained out, tickets from Friday night’s program will be valid Sunday. If either Friday or Saturday night are rained out, the tickets from the respective night that was rained out will be valid Sunday. If the Sunday program is utilized, it will run without a support division and hot laps will begin at 2 pm.

For those unable to attend the Park Jefferson doubleheader, FloSports, the exclusive broadcast partner for both the All Star Circuit of Champions and IRA Outlaw Sprint Series, will broadcast the events live on its FloRacing platform. For more information, visit FloSports.tv or FloRacing.com.

The All Star Circuit of Champions are actively seeking marketing partners for the two-day visit to South Dakota. Those seeking additional information should contact pr@tonystewart.com.

Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Formula One embrace the United States

Verstappen Perez United States
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Last week, Red Bull Racing revealed their new car, the RB19, and a new relationship with US-based Ford Motors in a press event in New York City complete with drivers Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Team Principle Christian Horner. They are the only Formula 1 team to launch in the United States, but even that small move of the needle reflects a major shift in the attitude of both F1’s management and their teams – and the extent to which the American audience has fully embraced the sport.

“It’s something fantastic and unique, for the sport to be able to break it into the U.S,” Perez told NBC Sports. “The market is huge and it’s a huge opportunity for everyone involved, for the drivers, for the team. It’s always a huge market.”

Verstappen Perez United States
Sergio Perez finished fourth in the Unites States Grand Prix, but he was first with the fans.  – Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

In 2023, Formula 1 will race three times in the United States and five times in North America. The Circuit of the Americas will host their 11th consecutive race in October before heading south to Mexico City. Miami returns for a second time in May on a temporary street course around the Hard Rock cafe and the third addition is in downtown Las Vegas in November.

With the Canadian Grand Prix on the schedule for June and the Brazilian Grand Prix in November, American fans are now in the ballpark of Europeans, who have eight events on the continent and one in England.

In 2022, Verstappen won every race in North America. He was kept from sweeping the hemisphere only by George Russell, who won in Brazil. That fact is less remarkable when one considers that Verstappen won 15 times in the season – nearly two-thirds of the races on the schedule.

By the time Formula arrived in Austin for Round 20 of 23, Verstappen had already wrapped up his second consecutive championship.

“Sometimes it can be hard to replicate the season, but I think it’s the same as with the car, right? You always try to improve it,” Verstappen told NBC Sports. “And I always look at the little details that even when you have had a good race, you could have done better. And then of course you also learn from the bad races. So we always try to look for these little improvements and general experience you gain year after year.

“You try to do better, but of course it also depends a lot on the package you have.”

Verstappen Perez United States
Max Verstappen United States Grand Prix win was one of 15 for the drivers and 17 for Red Bull.
(Gongora / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Now Verstappen’s thoughts will inevitably turn to establishing a dynasty – and America will again play a pivotal role.

“I just enjoy what I’m doing,” Verstappen said.  “After the years in Formula One, when you have to be on top of your game and you gain a lot on your experience – in that sense nothing really can get to you anymore. Every year you just try to do the best you can. But a lot depends on the material around you. It’s always a bit of a guess. Start the season as fit as you can be and be well prepared. But if you don’t have the car, you’re not going to win the championship.”

Perez added two wins to Red Bull’s total, at Monaco and the Marina Bay Street course. With two of the US 2023 races on street courses, Perez hopes to close the gap on Verstappen and potentially be his principle rival for the championship.

“The strategy is clear; it is to maximize the potential of the car – and we believe we have a good car, but how good?,” Perez said “We don’t know what the competition is doing. We just give our best in building this car and we hope that it’s good enough to get us to win races.

“I think we have to work together as a team. At the same time. We both want to win the championship. It’s just having good compromise. The competition will be really strong out there, so we really need everything we possibly can get from each other.”

Formula One returns to the United States for Round 6 and the Miami Grand Prix on May 7.