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Tony Stewart eyes win in West Fargo

WEST FARGO - Perhaps it was a bit of a clich?(C). But it really does tell Tony Stewart's story when it comes to how the dirt track has treated him lately.

WEST FARGO - Perhaps it was a bit of a cliché. But it really does tell Tony Stewart's story when it comes to how the dirt track has treated him lately.

"Some people say you are only as good as your last race," Stewart said. "My last race at Fargo wasn't one of my best races, so our goal is to come back to Fargo and have a little more success this time."

Stewart, a two-time NASCAR champ, returns tonight to the Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo to race for the fourth time in two years.

It is his second time racing here this year. Stewart raced in June and extended his winless streak at the track to three races.

But let's go back to his statement about "being as good as your last race." In regards to the dirt track, he hasn't been bad at all. He spent last week racing in Ontario and Quebec, where he won races like it was nothing.

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"Any time you can get more laps in any car, it's going to help," Stewart said. "I've been able to race a lot in June and July and we keep getting closer."

But when it comes to the RRVS, that's where there has been a bit of a struggle.

Stewart's had a myriad of misfortunes, ranging from blowing out a tire to his last visit, when he crashed into a wall in the first lap of the feature race.

That being said, there's no denying that previous bad luck isn't a deterrent.

"Tony wants to be good at whatever he does," said Donny Schatz, who races for a team owned by Stewart. "Whether it's his NASCAR Office Depot or a dirt modified, he wants to be competitive and have a chance to win."

Schatz, to a degree, might have a bit of pressure himself. His family operates the speedway and given his ties to the track, it sets up the reality that he's racing on his home track.

Schatz said there's no pressure in winning at home. Then again, why should there be pressure? He won last year's race.

"It's always special for me to win in Fargo," Schatz said. "Our family is trying to give racing fans in the area something to be excited about and hopefully, last year's show was something they'll remember and want to come out and see if we can do it again."

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Of course there is the hope today's race could draw a large crowd. But it might not be the last time Stewart comes back this year.

Schatz's father, Danny, said a few weeks ago the speedway was looking at trying to bring Stewart back for another race this month.

Stewart said that he's looking at his schedule to see if he can make it back for one more race this summer.

"The Schatz family has really worked hard to keep racing prominent in this area," Stewart said. "Not only do I consider them good business people, but I consider them friends.

"If we can make it work to come back, get another night in the Sprint car, and help bring people out to see some racing at a really nice facility, it would be a win-win-win situation."

Inforum searchword: Auto racing

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548.

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Clark's Force blog can be found

at slightlychilled.areavoices.com

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