By Mary Lendzion
Photos by NMRA and courtesy of Clair Stewart
While Clair Stewart has been successful in NMRA G-Force Racing Coyote Stock and earned the class championship in 2019, he won’t be returning to it in 2020.
Instead, he’s handing longtime friend and fellow G-Force Racing Coyote Stock driver Drew Lyons the keys to his Mustang, which is powered by a Gen II Coyote engine and a G-Force G101A transmission and will soon have a new center section by Wayne Henderson of Indy Gear.
“I knew Drew was planning some upgrades for his Mustang for Coyote Stock, and I thought I would go ahead and ask him if he wanted to drive my car in the meantime,” said Stewart. “I asked him shortly before PRI. We had to pound out a lot of details, but our number one priority was that we would still be friends when this is over. Drew has already won two Coyote Stock championships, so hopefully he can win his third championship in my car.”
Lyons, who has never driven Stewart’s Mustang, will need to be a quick study at the first event of the year, the 26th Annual Nitto NMRA Spring Break Shootout, Feb. 27-March 1 at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida, as he won’t have an opportunity to test in advance, but he has proven time and time again that he can tackle monumental tasks.
“It will be a little bit of a change for me to drive someone else’s car because I have always done the majority of the work on my own car, apart from the roll cage,” said Lyons. “The biggest benefit for me to drive Clair’s car is that it already has a few of the upgrades that I haven’t made to mine yet, so with all else equal, it will be a faster chassis than mine at this time. I’m looking forward to applying my experience to see how much better I can make it. “
Meanwhile, Stewart will focus on moving to a different car and a different category.
“I feel like I’ve met my goal in Coyote Stock, and I had always told myself that if I earned a championship in the class, I would get into a faster car,” said Stewart.
Stewart is searching for a 2015 or newer Mustang on which he will continue to fly banners for Watson Racing and Lucas Oil, among other supporters. Tim Donathen of Donathen Racing will help build the chassis, and Eddie Bennett of Bennett Performance, Stewart’s crew chief, will tune the chassis. Stewart said he plans to continue to rely on a Coyote engine and a G-Force G101A transmission, as well as products from TBM brakes, Race Star Wheels and Stifflers.
Stewart, who competed in NMRA Edelbrock Renegade before moving to G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock, didn’t disclose whether the engine will be naturally aspirated or paired with a power-adder, or which NMRA class he’ll head to, but he did say he hopes to be on-track by the end of this year.