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Stewart was no stranger to West Fargo track

WEST FARGO – Despite being a three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, Tony Stewart was a familiar face at dirt tracks like the one he raced at Saturday in upstate New York.

Stewart is renowned for driving at smaller tracks across the country, including making several appearances in West Fargo.

Stewart raced at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo six times from 2010 to 2012.

Danny Schatz, who operated the speedway until it stopped hosting races after the 2012 season, is the father of Fargo driver Donny Schatz. Donny Schatz drives for Stewart’s team on the World of Outlaws circuit.

“I really enjoyed racing in (West) Fargo,” said Stewart prior to his RRVS second appearance in 2010. “The people were tremendous and everyone at the race track did a great job.”

In front of more than 6,000 fans during his final race at RRVS in 2012, Stewart earned a seventh-place finish in the late-model feature. But the race was not without incident.

In the first heat, Stewart had third place in his grasp until the final turn on the final lap, when his car made contact with a car driven by Brad Seng of Grand Forks. Seng’s late model muscled past Stewart, allowing Seng to finish third and secure a spot in the feature. Stewart was forced to qualify through B mains.

Stewart showed Seng the middle finger at the scales.

“I thought he was going to put me in the eighth row of the grandstands,” Stewart told the crowd regarding Seng’s maneuver. “If I get the chance in the main (feature), I will do it to him and see how he likes it.”

“(Stewart) was all over the race track,” Seng told Forum News Service a day later.

During the feature, the two drivers were side-by-side at times, but there were no further incidents.