The Common Man’s Indy 500
Fans will see a new face run the high banks of Anderson Speedway in 2019. Baden Stewart from Salem, Indiana will continue to hone his skills in his young racing career. In 2019, Stewart will attempt to qualify for the 71st Annual Pay Less Little 500 presented by UAW-GM.
“It has been a dream of mine to race the Little 500,” expressed Baden Stewart. “I can’t even put into words how big this is for me. This is something that me and my dad are doing together. I grew up going to sprint car races with my dad around Indiana. The Little 500 has become the common man’s Indy 500. The rich history and competitiveness of the event has turned the race into the biggest short track race in the world.”
Steve Stewart, Baden’s father is a multi-time Little 500 car owner. His first voyage to the Little 500 was in 2006 with Hud Cone. Cone qualified in the 31st position for the 58th Annual Pay Less Little 500. In the race, Cone was able to stay out of trouble and finish in the 8th position. He completed 474 of the 500 laps. In 2007-2009,
Stewart partnered with driver Kevin Feeney. Feeney’s best finish came in 2007 with a 14th place finish.
Baden Stewart’s racing career started at the young age of 3. He raced quarter midgets all over Indiana and traveled as far as Alabama for a race. Stewart made his first start at Anderson Speedway in a Mini-Cup. Unconfirmed, but Stewart is the youngest winner of a feature in Anderson Speedway history at the age of 8. Stewart was able to win in his very first start at Anderson.
“I had never raced on a track like Anderson Speedway before,” explained Baden Stewart. “My dad just told me to hold it wide open around the track. I won the feature in “the future” division for the mini-cups that night.”
Stewart took some time off from racing and focused on school until the
opportunity presented itself to drive a street stock. The street stock division would be at Stewart’s home track of Salem Speedway. The ½ mile track boasts 33 degrees of banking. Stewart partnered with a Louisville, Indiana family of Chuck Barnes Jr. and Chuck Barnes Sr. In his rookie season, Stewart was able to pick up a win during the Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial. He also added the rookie of the year honors and a third-place points finish.
In addition to racing the street stock at Salem, Stewart also competed in the Fall ACRA race at Salem Speedway. Stewart drove for Bill Kimmel in the #68 Ford. He qualified in the 17th position and was able to finish in the 13th position.
In 2019, Stewart will pilot the “Stewart Automotive Special” at all the Anderson Speedway non-wing races. Five non-wing races are scheduled at Anderson Speedway. The 71st Annual Pay Less Little 500 presented by UAW-GM will be the first non-wing race of the year. Two of the non-wing sprint car races will run on Thursday Night. New to the schedule this year is a 250 lap – Tony Elliott Classic. An increased purse will be announced at a later date.
“The learning curve in 2019 might be steep, but I cannot wait to get started.” expressed Stewart. “This has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid. I feel like I have got some great people like (Jacob) Wilson, Scotty (Hampton), Hurst Bros. and Kevin Feeney offering me advice. If we make the Little 500 field, I will be happy but if we make it to the checkered flag, I will be ecstatic.”