In addition to running the NASCAR Busch Series and Winston Cup races at Michigan, you'll spend Saturday night in Knoxville to watch Danny compete for a third Knoxville Nationals championship. For those who don't follow the World of Outlaws, what makes the Knoxville Nationals such an important race?
"The Knoxville Nationals is our Daytona 500 or Indy car racing's Indy 500. It's the biggest sprint car race of the year. The best of the best come from all over the country. They even come from as far away as Australia to run at one venue for four straight nights. It's not like winning a weekly World of Outlaws event. You're racing in an all-star race with guys from all over the country. When you win the Knoxville Nationals, you've beaten the very best there is in winged sprint car racing."
Stewart (R), chats with Emmett Hahn at the 2003 Chili Bowl - Andy Jones Photo
As a car owner you won the 2001 Knoxville Nationals with Lasoski, then you went on to win the series championship.
"That was definitely my first big win as a car owner. I guess I was just more excited for our team more than anything because those guys had worked so hard to be competitive for that race. We had been competitive all year anyway, but to come out as a full-time Outlaw team and win the Knoxville Nationals in our first year together - that pretty much put us at a level not only in our minds, but in our competition's minds that we weren't there to mess around. We meant business. Everywhere we go we want to be a factor to win every race. After winning the Nationals as a rookie team, we proved that we had the right ingredients in place and that we made the right decisions in how our program was going to be built. Nobody doubted Danny's ability, Jimmy's (Carr, crew chief) ability or the crew's ability. It was just a matter of getting the right people and the right equipment in place."
With the bad luck that has found the race team as of late, could the Knoxville Nationals - a place where Danny and this race team have enjoyed so much success - come at any better time?
"Everybody knows Danny's success at Knoxville, so I don't think that even if Danny was having a terrible season coming into the Nationals that anyone would ever write this race team off. We're still right there in the points and we're still running well. When the stakes are high like they are at the Knoxville Nationals, this team rises to the occasion, and Danny normally goes out on the race track and does a really good job."
Is there anything in particular that you've seen that makes Danny so good at Knoxville?
"Danny used to run there every week, so he knows the track like the back of his hand. It's hard to beat experience at a race track. You take Danny's experience at Knoxville and the way he works with Jimmy (Carr, crew chief) on the car - Jimmy knows the track really well also - and with those experiences they can communicate with each other and Jimmy can always find a way to make the car do what Danny wants it to do. Then he lets Danny's experience around the race track take it from there. It's just a pretty potent combination."