Up to speed
Meet Kelly Stewart, Driver of the #38 M&M’s Racing Transporter
If anyone mentions the driver of the M&M’s® Ford Taurus, most NASCAR fans know they are speaking of Elliott Sadler. But Sadler is only responsible for the driving on the track. Alabama native Kelly Stewart is a name you might not recognize, but he logs just as many miles as Sadler does, as he pilots the #38 Team transporter for Robert Yates Racing.
As his job description infers, Stewart is responsible for driving the team transporter and its cargo. When Stewart arrives at the track, however, his job has just begun. His duties start with making the trek from one race location to the next, and they continue as he ensures that the transporter is fully stocked and kept tidy during the race weekend.
Stewart stocks items as diverse as the team uniforms, maintenance supplies and groceries. And Stewart becomes the most popular team member of the team when he dons a chef hat and cooks meals for the M&M’s Racing road crew in an effort to keep the team well-nourished.
When the #38 M&M’s Ford Taurus is on the track, Stewart listens to team communications and assists with making any chassis changes Sadler requests. Whether a team member needs a gear, shock or tool, Stewart is on hand to transport the equipment to the team in the garage area so no valuable track time is lost.
“I wear many different hats on race weekend,” says Stewart. “I’m definitely the go-to guy, so there may be as many as 20 people asking me for something at the same time. This transporter is our race shop at the track, and everything in it is my responsibility. I love being at the track. Sometimes after a long weekend, I look forward to climbing behind the wheel by myself and heading home, especially if I am carrying the winning car.”
In 2003, Stewart proved his enormous abilities behind the wheel as he was crowned winner of International Truck Challenge. With a perfect score of 200 and a time of 54.67 seconds, Stewart out-maneuvered his challengers in his International 9400i in a series of timed obstacles that test the drivers’ nerves and driving prowess. Stewart finished 47.46 seconds ahead of the second place finisher.
“I knew it was a one-shot event,” said Stewart after winning. “I tried not to think about it too much and just wanted to be in the top three.”
Traveling from track to track, Stewart drives the an same 9400i model for the #38 team. “I like the way it pulls. It upgrades in the mountains better than other haulers I’ve driven.”