StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-115212721532393.jpg’, ‘Photo by Doug Halberstadt’, ‘NASCAR Nextel Cup stars Matt Kenseth (left) and Tony Stewart, defending 2005 series champion, mingle with fans and sign autographs before competing in the First Supply All-Star Challenge.’);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-115212726630348.jpg’, ‘Photo by Doug Halberstadt’, ‘Cambridge, Wis., native and former NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion Matt Kenseth, shown here in his DeWalt No. 17, finished second in his return to Madison International Speedway, where he began his racing career.’);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-115212732030349.jpg’, ‘Photo by Doug Halberstadt’, ‘Defending NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart climbs into his Home Depot No. 20. Stewart finished seventh in the All-Star Challenge.’);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-115212736130348.jpg’, ‘Photo by Doug Halberstadt’, ‘Matt Kenseth (left) and Tony Stewart discuss their excitement in participating in the All-Star Challenge. Id like to thank Matt and Roy (Kenseths father and promoter of the event) for allowing me to come out and play today, Stewart said. Make sure you invite me again next year!’);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-115220675929749.jpg’, ‘Photo by Doug Halberstadt’, ”);
NASCAR Nextel Cup superstars Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart were at the Madison International Speedway last week to compete in the First Supply All-Star Challenge presented by the Bold Look of Kohler.
Kenseth, who is from nearby Cambridge, Wis., grew up racing at the Madison track. He finished the 100-lap race in second, and Stewart came home seventh.
Kelly Bires spoiled Kenseths homecoming. The youngster from Mauston, Wis., was able to keep his car out in front and beat Kenseth back to the checkered flag. Bobby Wilberg, a seven-time Rockford Speedway track champion and the defending track champion at Madison, finished third.
Nearly 10,000 fans were on hand to witness the thrill of seeing two of their favorite NASCAR drivers in such an intimate setting. Stewart and Kenseth arrived at the track early in the day and spent several hours interacting with the local fans. Both drivers were eager to pose for photographs and signed every item the fans gave them.
During the press conference, Stewart and Kenseth both commented about what a pleasure it was for them to participate in an event such as this. Stewart enthusiastically said: Id like to thank Matt and Roy (Kenseths father and promoter of the event) for allowing me to come out and play today! Make sure you invite me again next year!
Along with the ASA Late Model headliners that evening, the Bandit Division was also on hand to entertain the fans. Steve Dickson, Rockton police chief and director of Race Operations at the Rockford Speedway, won their 30-lap main event. When asked what it was like to win in front of so many fans, Dickson exclaimed, This is my National Short Track Championship!
Doug Halberstadt is a local resident and is track announcer at Rockford Speedway. He can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the July 5-11, 2006, issue