NASCAR Legend Tony Stewart Races to Save Pets


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When a racecar driver pulls into the pit, it triggers a sudden whirlwind of activity. But what may seem like chaos is actually a carefully choreographed routine. Each member of the crew knows exactly what needs to be done to get the driver back onto the track safely and quickly.

Animal rescue operates in much the same way. Saving a pet’s life requires a coordinated team effort of volunteers, shelter workers, rescue staff, donors, and other organizations. As with racing, seconds count.

No one knows this better than Tony Stewart. Not only is he a NASCAR racing legend and a three-time Sprint Car Series champion, he is a dedicated team member of the worldwide effort to help animals.

A lifelong dog lover who currently shares his home with German Shepherd Dog, Max, it was another dog who inspired Tony to give back.

“In 2004, I heard about a dog in Florida, which was hurt pretty bad by a hit-and-run driver,” he said. “The poor dog needed surgery, and something just told me to make it happen. That kind of set in motion the whole idea of the Tony Stewart Foundation.”

Tony Stewart and Max. (Photo courtesy 2016 Stewart-Haas Racing/ Harold Hinson Photography)
Tony Stewart and Max. (Photo courtesy 2016 Stewart-Haas Racing/ Harold Hinson Photography)

Since 2005, Tony’s foundation has donated $6.5 million to help endangered or at-risk animals, as well as children and other drivers in need of assistance.

“I feel pretty fortunate in life and really wanted to help out those less fortunate, whether it’s kids, animals, or someone down on their luck,” Tony said.

He knows he can’t do it alone. So, Tony carefully selects companies and organizations to be part of his team. One such organization is Code 3 Associates, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides animal disaster response and resources to communities. To accomplish its mission, Code 3 relies on donations from individuals, support from corporations like Adams Pet Care, and strategic partnerships like the one it shares with Tony.

The partnership — made possible by an anonymous benefactor — is a win-win for both parties. It enables Tony to help even more animals through his foundation, while bringing attention to Code 3.

“I love the work they do,” Tony said, “and I’m honored we can give Code 3 exposure through NASCAR so more people are aware of all the programs Code 3 has for animal welfare.”

Top photo: Courtesy of Adams Flea and Tick Control.

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