Tony Stewart To Attempt Nationwide Races for Hendrick Motorsports

Kelly CrandallSenior Writer IJanuary 19, 2009

Tony Stewart, the defending Nationwide Series winner at Daytona, will be able to get back in the winners circle in 2009 and this time for Rick Hendrick.

Hendrick Motorsports announced today that Stewart will attempt to qualify the No. 80 Chevrolet in the Feb. 14, 2009 Nationwide Series Camping World 300 at Daytona.

It will be the first time that Stewart has driven for Hendrick Motorsports.

"After winning the season-opening Nationwide Series race at Daytona three times, we're going to try and get another one, this time for Rick," said Stewart, who has seven career Nationwide Series victories.

"Hopefully we can go back-to-back for a second time and put the Chevrolet in Victory Lane. Rick and I have been friends for years, so it would mean a lot to me to get a win for him."

Stewart has won the season opening event three times, twice driving for Kevin Harvick in both 2005 and 2006, and once for Joe Gibbs Racing last season.

"Tony is one of the best drivers in the world," Hendrick said. "We know how terrific he is at Daytona, so I told the guys to build him a fast car and let him do what he does best. He's a great friend, and it's going to be fun to see him drive for Hendrick Motorsports for the first time."

Source: Hendrick Motorsports Champions Club