NASCAR WCUP: Tony Stewart adding Laps at Indy
5 August 1999Indiana native Tony Stewart is no stranger to racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). Throughout his career, Stewart has recorded thousands of laps around the famed Speedway in IRL and IROC races. This weekend, he will add several hundred more laps to his logbook when he races for the first time in the sixth annual Brickyard 400 in his #20 Home Depot Pontiac.
Stewart has competed in the past four Indianapolis 500s with a best finish of fifth in 1997. He will be the only Winston Cup driver to race at IMS twice this 1999 season. He ran his #22 Home Depot Indy car during the first leg of his May "Double Duty" feat where he finished 9th and then headed straight to Charlotte to run in the Coca-Cola 600, completing both races on the same day.
Stewart heads to his home state track fifth in the overall point standings - the highest he has been ranked this season. In 19 starts, Stewart has one pole, five top-five, 11 top-10 and 16 top-15 finishes.
Tony Stewart, Driver -- (Fifth in standings with 2,565 points) On Racing at Indy:
"Indianapolis Motor Speedway is near and dear to my heart. I grew up less than an hour from here and winning a race at the Speedway would be a dream come true. Would it replace a win in the Indianapolis 500? I'd sure like to find out. Winning the Brickyard 400 would be a great accomplishment for all of us on the Home Depot team."
"Among other things, you have to have the chassis setup right. Gearing is crucial at IMS to get the most out of the car on the straights. You've also got to have your corning speed dialed in so you don't have to hit the brakes hard."
On Testing at Indy
"We didn't leave Indy with the test results we would have liked but I've got confidence in Greg (Zipadelli, crew chief) and the team that by the time we come back for the Brickyard, we'll have what we need to get a solid starting position for the Home Depot car."
Indy Car vs. Cup Car:
"Getting around the Speedway in the Home Depot Pontiac isn't an easy proposition. Other than knowing the layout of the track like the back of my hand, nothing transfers from the IRL car to the Cup car. The cornering lines are not the same and there's a 50 mph speed difference