Car Talk from the U.S. Nationals

Charlie Stewart’s Memorable Indy

The 1963 Super Gas Corvette roadster that Charlie Stewart was racing this weekend at the U.S. Nationals was one that he, himself, built. The Azle, Texas, resident owns Charlie Stewart Race Cars and constructs new builds, fabrications, chassis repair, and components. His effective efforts have included building successful racecars such as Luke Bogacki’s winning roadster, the car that Edmond Richardson recently drove to his 50th division win, a range of Hughes Performance entries, and even a car of his own in which he finished No. 2 in the 2016 IHRA Super Rod championship.

But what he brought to Indy for the 67th annual Dodge//SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals was really special. It was one that he had originally built for his good friend, Lynn Lawson, who died of cancer in January of 2021. Lawson was a fellow drag racing enthusiast and car builder based in Texas.

“This is a real emotional car to me,” said Stewart, of the roadster that is currently owned by Todd Pullen and usually driven by Todd’s son, Conner. “It’s pretty special being here with it.”

Stewart’s first trip to the U.S. Nationals was in 1993, when he showed up with his Super Comp car. Although this year is particularly meaningful, he always enjoys making the 970-mile road trip to Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

“This is the ultimate deal,” said the 2020 Houston SpringNationals Super Gas winner. “Winning Indy is better than winning a world championship. I’ve been trying to win this one for almost 30 years.”

The ’63 Corvette roadster that Charlie Stewart built for friend Lynn Lawson (Photo: Conner Pullen/Facebook)

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Top Dragster’s Webber Gets to Indy Allstars with Help of Fellow Racers

2020 Top Dragster JEGS AllStars winner Cody Webber

Last season, then 22-year-old Cody Webber came all the way to Indy to race for the JEGS Allstars trophy for the first time – and he pulled off a dream weekend when he won Top Dragster in the ‘Sportsman Super Bowl’ of races.

The victory came with the honor of an invite to the 2021 rendition of the esteemed competition as a blocker.

“We had planned to get my dad’s car out here so that I could run Super Comp and Top Dragster, but all of our plans fell through,” said Webber.

Webber, who hails from Kingman, Arizona, contacted fellow Division 7 racer Justin Lamb for some advice, and Lamb suggested the pairing with Indiana-based Butner and his Jim Butner Auto Group-branded Top Dragster. Butner won NHRA’s North Central Division 3 race with the rail at Summit Motorsports Park on 4th of July weekend, so it was primed and ready.

“It was really cool to be able to help Cody with that,” said Butner. “He’s a good racer and a great young man. That’s what Sportsman racing is all about – helping each other out and having some fun along the way.”

Although Webber didn’t go as many rounds as he would have liked in the Allstars competition, he was elated to have had the opportunity to return to Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

“It means a lot to have an Allstars trophy, and coming into the weekend, it took away some of the pressure knowing I’ve been here and done it before,” said the former Jr. drag racer. “I was hoping it would give me an edge over the competition, but there were a lot of great racers in it this year, world champions. It was exciting, and I’m glad we were here. I can’t thank Bo and Randi Lyn enough.”

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