Stewart among this year’s North Hall of Fame class

Before he was one of the world’s top racecar drivers, Tony Stewart was a jazz band musician and drama club member at Columbus North High School.

But having won an IndyCar and three NASCAR driving championships in the 27 years since he graduated from North, Stewart will be honored with fellow Bull Dog alumni Marty Newsom, Terry Schmidt and the late Duane Barrows as they are inducted into the Columbus North Alumni Hall of Fame.

The fourth annual Bull Dog Alumni Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place Sept. 9 before the home football game against Franklin Central High School.

Newsom and Schmidt plan to attend the induction ceremony.

Barrows’ niece, Jane Cooney, will accept the award in her uncle’s honor. Stewart’s mother, Pam Boas, will accept her son’s award in his place.

Stewart has a prior commitment that night at the Richmond (Virginia) International Speedway, where he will try to qualify for the Federated Auto Parts 400 and run in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race the following day.

“He’s terribly sorry that he can’t be here,” Boas said. “He was glad that I was able to clear my schedule enough to receive it for him.”

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.