Up to speed
Q&A with M&M’S transport driver Kelly Stewart…
Where are you from, and how did you get into racing?
I’m from Theodore, AL, which is about 20 miles south of Mobile. I got my start in racing by driving the show car trailer for Robert Yates Racing. After a year, an opportunity came up on what was then the #28 Team to drive the transporter. I drove the last two seasons for Ricky Rudd and the #28 Team. This is my third season working with M&M’s® and Elliott Sadler, so this is my fifth season driving a race transporter for Robert Yates Racing.
How did you get your start driving trucks before you came to NASCAR?
I got my CDL license by working for a freight company back in Mobile. I was there about four years before joining American Freightways for three years.
What do you enjoy about driving?
To me, it is like a traveling vacation. You get to see a lot of things throughout the country that many people who have a desk job don’t get to see. To me, driving is the easiest part of the job. That’s kind of my break to unwind, relax and see the scenery. The best part is you get to meet a lot of the fans as you travel across the country. It is really special to get to drive this truck because of the M&M’s sponsorship and the connection that M&M’S has with anyone from grandkids to grandparents. It seems that everyone has some connection to M&M’s.
Is there a favorite memory of meeting a fan on the road?
I never take it for granted when I meet the fans, but there are so many instances on each trip that I don’t think that I could pick one favorite. It’s a lot of fun, and I really enjoy that part of the job. If someone was walking through the Nextel Cup garage and had their pick of which truck to drive, there would be no need in going any further than the #38 M&M’s Truck.
What is the toughest part of your job?
I think it is to ensure yourself that you’ve got everything that you need. This is our traveling “race shop” for the weekend, so everything the guys need to work on the car has to be on here. It’s tough to be away from home. It’s a lot of long hours, but it’s a sacrifice that I make to do this. You enjoy the friends you make in doing this job, and not just your teammates, but other guys in the garage, too. We’re all good friends and help each other any way we can with this long schedule.