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Young Mark Stewart the 'real deal' in super pro trucks division

A flagman waves the green flag at Riverhead

A flagman waves the green flag at Riverhead Raceway. (July 16, 2011) Credit: Daniel Brennan

After losing a bet to his uncle, Mark Stewart was forced to get his hair cut last Saturday for the first time "in a pretty long while," he said.

That didn't stop Stewart from winning another race, though.

Stewart, 16, won his fourth feature event this season in the super pro trucks division. It matched his total from his rookie season last year.

Things got interesting before the race even started, however.

Stewart's uncle, Roger Turbush, a two-time super pro truck champion, made a challenge prior to the race. Time trials were used for the super pro truck class last week and Turbush bet that if he out-qualified Stewart, Stewart would have to cut his hair. Stewart's hair had reached down his back.

Turbush won the bet and then proceeded to cut Stewart's hair in front of about 10 family members and friends at Riverhead.

"They were all making fun of me," said Stewart, a junior at Riverhead High School. "I was looking to cut it soon, anyway, but it was a bit premature. It was all in fun, though."

Stewart ended up getting the last laugh by winning the feature race.

"That made things feel a lot better," Stewart said. "It definitely made me happier."

With two super pro truck races left on the Riverhead schedule, Stewart trails class leader Erin Solomito of Hampton Bays by eight points. Hey, they don't call Stewart "The Real Deal" for nothing . . .

"I don't even know where that nickname came from, to be honest," Stewart said with a laugh. "But I like it. It's complimentary. Even my friends and family sometimes call me that."

Stewart is a fourth-generation driver in the Turbush racing family. His great-grandfather Charles and grandfather "Dynamite" Dan are on the Riverhead Raceway Wall of Fame.

Stewart said he's looking to add to his family's legacy.

"I'm hoping to win that championship this season," Stewart said. "And I think because I think [that], I will finish strong."

New York Sports