Tony Stewart to join NHRA as team owner in 2022

Sports

Motorsport.com 14 October, 2021 - 10:01am

Spider-Man: No Way Home just released some brand new photos from the movie. MJ is more than a bit surprised when she and Spidey have to make a quick escape in the new shots. Doctor Strange also looks on as the young hero faces an unknown threat in another image. Benedict Cumberbatch's sorcerer plays a big role in Now Way Home, but what horrors the young hero has helped unleashed remains a bit of a mystery. (Yes, the "Sinister Six", but there are probably going to be some other problems now too.) Series star Tom Holland also talked to EW about his tangles with Alfred Molina during the upcoming film. The standout moment from the trailer would have to be Doctor Octopus crawling up onto that bridge and greeting the new version of his old friend. 

a cara da mj KKKKKKKKKKKKKKK pic.twitter.com/BpQ0OeKHFt

The chemistry between the new Spidey and the beloved villain is absolutely real. Holland calls Molina, "one of my favorite people I've ever worked with," in the new interview. There's been a long layover for Doc Ock, but the magic of CGI makes the impossible become routine. However, for Molina, using those arms is like riding a bike, it just takes a little while to get the juices flowing again. Check out how the Spider-Man actor described going toe-to-toe with one of the character's greatest adversaries.

"It was really fun to watch him see how technology has advanced," Holland mused when talking about Molina. "When he was making these films, the arms were puppets, and when we did it, they're all imaginary and CG. It was quite cool to see him relive it, but also relearn it."

For those hoping for more Holland as Spider-Man in the MCU after this film, there were some comments about those prospects that you might want to see. "We were all treating [No Way Home] as the end of a franchise, let's say," Holland explained to EW. "I think if we were lucky enough to dive into these characters again, you'd be seeing a very different version. It would no longer be the Homecoming trilogy. We would give it some time and try to build something different and tonally change the films. Whether that happens or not, I don't know. But we were definitely treating [No Way Home] like it was coming to an end, and it felt like it."

What do you think of these new shots from Spider-Man: No Way Home? Let us know down in the comments! 

Copyright 2021 ComicBook.com. All rights reserved.

Read full article at Motorsport.com

Tony Stewart entering NHRA as owner of new two-car team for the 2022 season

CBS Sports 14 October, 2021 - 07:00pm

The racing resume of Tony Stewart is an all-encompassing one from both the driver's seat and from a position of management, as he has managed to pervade nearly all corners of motorsports in his legendary career. Now, Stewart is adding yet another section to his racing resume as the owner of a brand new NHRA team.

On Thursday, Tony Stewart announced that he will join the NHRA as a car owner in 2022, fielding two full-time entries across two separate divisions under the Tony Stewart Racing banner. Stewart's team will field a Top Fuel car for Leah Pruett and a Funny Car team for three-time and defending Funny Car champion Matt Hagan. Both drivers have been lured away from Don Schumacher Racing, one of the NHRA's powerhouse teams.

Speaking to the media, Stewart explained that his interest in fielding an NHRA team spawned from his relationship with Pruett, whom he is engaged to and will marry at the end of the 2021 season. Stewart has been a frequent spectator of Pruett's races, and explained that he wanted to be more than a "trophy wife" to his bride-to-be.

"I appreciate all forms of racing and I've always been intrigued about drag racing and NHRA, in particular," Stewart said in a report by Jim Utter of Motorsport.com. "Back in 2009 when (NHRA champion) Tony Schumacher and I were both representing the U.S. Army, I got to hang out with him and Don Schumacher at the U.S. Nationals. Tony ended up winning and after taking it all in, I was hooked.

"But it wasn't until I met Leah and started going to races regularly, where I saw the strategy and the preparation firsthand, that I truly understood it."

Stewart's entry into the NHRA means that his racing empire continues to grow. After rising to prominence in IndyCar competition in the 1990s, Stewart has since become a NASCAR Hall of Famer, a dirt racing icon, and the owner of race teams and raceways alike. According to Jeff Gluck of The Athletic, Stewart currently does not have plans to compete in NHRA as a driver, but has made several test runs in Pruett's car.

Stewart began dating Pruett, who has nine career NHRA wins, last year. The couple announced their engagement in March.

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Tony Stewart forms NHRA team; fiancee Leah Pruett, Matt Hagan named drivers

The Athletic 14 October, 2021 - 07:00pm

Tony Stewart, a team owner in multiple racing series, is adding an NHRA team to his portfolio of businesses, the NASCAR Hall of Famer announced Thursday. Tony Stewart Racing will field a Top Fuel car for Stewart's fiancee, Leah Pruett, and a Funny Car for Matt Hagan.

Stewart and Pruett, who are planning to get married next month after the NHRA season ends, began discussing plans for a team after Stewart became a frequent spectator and cheerleader at Pruett's drag races.

Stewart said he wanted to "do more than just stand and be a trophy wife next to Leah."

Hiring Pruett and Hagan away from Don Schumacher Racing is a significant step. Pruett has won nine NHRA races and Hagan is a 39-time race winner who is also the three-time and reigning Funny Car champion.

"It's undeniably going to make for exactly what the NHRA needs," Pruett said. "I'm excited to get to race with my future husband and get back on the track in a way I'll truly enjoy racing."

Said Hagan: "Tony is the man, honestly. ... I have no doubt this is going to be a big splash in NHRA."

Despite making 10 test runs in Pruett's car, Stewart said he has no current plans to compete in an NHRA race. He would like to practice more before considering a race entry.

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Tony Stewart's NHRA Move Leaves Don Schumacher Racing Reeling

Autoweek 14 October, 2021 - 07:00pm

Megateam model gets dramatic makeover, and at least five of the six drivers from the DSR's dominate 2020 lineup will be off the roster by year's end.

Or is it more of a case of megateams in general are dying?

With the announcement Thursday morning at Charlotte’s zMAX Dragway in North Carolina that motorsports mogul Tony Stewart and Top Fuel-driving fiancée Leah Pruett are launching their own NHRA team and taking three-time Funny Car champion teammate Matt Hagan with them, DSR will be losing three-fourths of its on-track presence for 2022.

Three-time Top Fuel champion Antron Brown has been planning for the past two seasons to transition to his own team as of the first of next year. That, coupled with the departure of Funny Car racers Tommy Johnson Jr. and Jack Beckman at the end of the 2020 season because of sponsorship issues, means DSR—the Team Penske of the NHRA—will have lost five of its six drivers within 24 months.

Tony Schumacher, the eight-time Top Fuel champion sidelined with no sponsor for all but eight races since 2018, announced Wednesday he’ll be back for a full 2022 season, courtesy of philanthropists Joe and Cathi Maynard. So Don Schumacher has at least some positive news in this revolving-door scenario.

All of this driver comings and goings (mostly goings) certainly has to make Funny Car veteran Ron Capps, the Lone Ranger from the 2021 lineup, wonder whether to stay put or venture out on his own at this point in his career. That’s something in the past he has said he might be interested in one day.

“You’ve got to step back and look at ‘Where’s our sport at right now? And where’s it going? I think through COVID, our sport did better than most," Capps said. "And throughout this year, there’s been a lot of races without many empty seats in the grandstands. I think you stand back and look at our sport and how well it’s been through all this period. But where is it going?

“Where is the sport going to be in the next generation? We’ve got these kids coming up. We’ve got these aspiring drivers. You’ve got the next talent. And it’s always exciting to see something like what Antron’s doing. But where is the next generation of ownership?”

Stewart said, “It doesn’t matter if it’s quarter-midgets, go-karts, all the way up to NHRA drag racing, Indy Car, Formula One, NASCAR—the competition keeps getting closer and closer and tighter and tighter. And you have to be on your game. But that’s why we do what we do . . . that challenge of trying to figure out how to do it better than everybody else.”

Stewart, Hagan, and NHRA president Glen Cromwell all praised Don Schumacher for his accomplishments and for his guidance and support as Stewart's new two-car team takes shape.

“None of this would be possible without Don Schumacher,” Stewart said. “His support of what we’re doing has been through the roof. He’s done an amazing job of helping me understand all the nuances of the sport, how to take care of the partners, how to make the program work. He’s spent a lot of time with me to help us understand what it takes to be successful at this level.”

Pruett said this new step in her career brings her “stability on multiple levels,” including “emotional stability” and “logic.”

Perhaps for Schumacher, the move disrupts stability and stirs a conflict of emotions as he has helped his racing birds fly from the nest. But he understands the inevitable, the evolution from single-car team to megateam to downsized team. Maybe it's simply part of the evolution to the new landscape in drag racing.

Schumacher will turn 77 years old Nov. 4. The other two “superteam” owners, John Force and Connie Kalitta, are, respectively, 72 and 83 years old. Kalitta, who fields two dragsters and a Funny Car, will turn 84 before the 2022 season begins.

And Force, like Schumacher, has had his COVID-induced on- and off-track struggles. John Force Racing sat on the sidelines in 2020, lost almost all of its mechanics and had to rebuild. He eventually pared down from four cars to three. That left Austin Prock, the talented and promising 2019 NHRA rookie of the year, the odd-man-out. It's clear that Don Schumacher isn’t the only one downsizing. The luster is gone from the megateams at the moment.

Don Schumacher said late last season, “I do not believe we will ever be back to 2019, because everything has changed so much in this world and will continue to be changed for a long time.”

The NHRA, though, undoubtedly will be the beneficiary of Thursday’s announcements. As Cromwell gave a nod to Schumacher because he “has done a lot for the sport,” he was animated as he embraced the sport’s new “team of superheroes.” Cromwell called Stewart “the Superman of Motorsports,” Pruett “Wonderwoman,” and Hagan “Hulk Hagan.”

Their collective superpowers will shine once Stewart finalizes contracts with a manufacturer and marketing partners in the coming weeks.

And now the spotlight turns to Capps, as drag-racing fans wait to see if he might be next to try something new.

Capps said, “I know the rumor’s out there” about his future but that at this point rumors remain rumors, although he said he always has the mindset that “I want to help the sport grow. I grew up around this sport of drag racing. I’ve been around it all my life. I’m lucky to be where I am at now, making a living. It’s an exciting time. There’s a lot going on right now.”

“When that time comes and I decide I want to pursue that, then I’ve got fantastic notes, if that’s something that I wanted to do,” he said.

Capps still marvels at what Don Schumacher has been willing and able to build: “I see what DSR has done with our chassis-building, the in-house shop . . . and I think it was a leapfrog performance, as far as chassis were considered. . . . You look around at DSR and you’ve got Bob Tasca and Cruz Pedregon [as partners in a technical alliance]. You’ve got (the Funny Car of) Paul Lee parked there in the shop. Antron, of course, and you go down the list. And there’s lots of different manufacturers’ cars working out of that shop. I think what you’re seeing is a transition of what Don has done and worked hard at. If you look around at DSR, it’s incredible: blower dynos, clutch dynos, the chassis shop . . . If you need something changed or something built or a new car, you walk 30 feet and you’re talking to Joe (Fitzpatrick) in the chassis shop.”

Capps, among others, is also quick to point out that the Capco Contractors/Torrence Racing family team has had a profound impact on the nitro scene and shown that the megateam is not the only path to

“You’ve got to look at the success of the Torrences,” he said. “Here’s a team that came along, not a megateam. They have another car, of course.” He was referring to part-time racer Billy Torrence, who has confounded the sanctioning body by competing when he feels like it (or, as he puts it, “by invitation only” from wife Kay Torrence, the legal team owner) and winning, qualifying for the Countdown, and finishing in the top five. Capps said, “The approach was to have one car [Steve Torrence’s], win a championship, buy parts from manufacturers and go out and run them—as opposed to a John Force or Don Schumacher, where parts are built in-house. And they’re not only winning championships [Steve Torrence is aiming for his fourth straight in Top Fuel] but really dominating the past few years.”

That hasn’t been lost on Brown, either. He said the Torrences “have raised the level of the game. “You know why their car runs so consistent? They run brand-new parts almost every lap. You know why their car doesn’t vary? It doesn’t vary because they killed all the variables.”

Steve Torrence is open about buying parts off the shelf: “We’re not smart enough to make our own parts—or maybe we’re smart enough not to make our own parts.”

What all this means is that the megateams don’t necessarily have the advantage they might have had a decade ago. They’re obscenely expensive to maintain. Many would argue they detract from “the show.” And they knock themselves out in an environment where others increasingly are working smart, not just hard, which, as Brown said, means “you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.” So the rise in independent teams – even “super part-timers” who don’t race all the time but always are threats to win – seems to be the trend. And it definitely has affected Don Schumacher Racing.

Don Schumacher Precision Manufacturing, the newest arm of his racing business, makes and sells parts and pieces to a broad spectrum of racing customers but also serves other industries. That venture, along with Tony Schumacher’s return to the dragstrip to pursue a ninth title, is keeping DSR in a somewhat-normal orbit for at least the near future.

And while John Force Racing and Kalitta Motorsports have yet to tip their hands publicly about 2022 plans, it’s clear the sport is starting to see a significant shift in the way teams do business.

Tony Schumacher Set For Return To Top Fuel Ranks - SPEED SPORT

SPEED SPORT 14 October, 2021 - 07:00pm

Spider-Man: No Way Home just released some brand new photos from the movie. MJ is more than a bit surprised when she and Spidey have to make a quick escape in the new shots. Doctor Strange also looks on as the young hero faces an unknown threat in another image. Benedict Cumberbatch's sorcerer plays a big role in Now Way Home, but what horrors the young hero has helped unleashed remains a bit of a mystery. (Yes, the "Sinister Six", but there are probably going to be some other problems now too.) Series star Tom Holland also talked to EW about his tangles with Alfred Molina during the upcoming film. The standout moment from the trailer would have to be Doctor Octopus crawling up onto that bridge and greeting the new version of his old friend. 

a cara da mj KKKKKKKKKKKKKKK pic.twitter.com/BpQ0OeKHFt

The chemistry between the new Spidey and the beloved villain is absolutely real. Holland calls Molina, "one of my favorite people I've ever worked with," in the new interview. There's been a long layover for Doc Ock, but the magic of CGI makes the impossible become routine. However, for Molina, using those arms is like riding a bike, it just takes a little while to get the juices flowing again. Check out how the Spider-Man actor described going toe-to-toe with one of the character's greatest adversaries.

"It was really fun to watch him see how technology has advanced," Holland mused when talking about Molina. "When he was making these films, the arms were puppets, and when we did it, they're all imaginary and CG. It was quite cool to see him relive it, but also relearn it."

For those hoping for more Holland as Spider-Man in the MCU after this film, there were some comments about those prospects that you might want to see. "We were all treating [No Way Home] as the end of a franchise, let's say," Holland explained to EW. "I think if we were lucky enough to dive into these characters again, you'd be seeing a very different version. It would no longer be the Homecoming trilogy. We would give it some time and try to build something different and tonally change the films. Whether that happens or not, I don't know. But we were definitely treating [No Way Home] like it was coming to an end, and it felt like it."

What do you think of these new shots from Spider-Man: No Way Home? Let us know down in the comments! 

Copyright 2021 ComicBook.com. All rights reserved.

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