NASCAR WCUP: Tony Stewart shoots for another top-five finish at Talladega
15 October 1999Posted By Terry Callahan
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel
Talladega Superspeedway - 2.66-mile oval
Race 30 of 34 - NASCAR Winston Cup Series
October 15-17, 1999
Race time: Sunday, October 17, 1999, 1 p.m. EDT
Live television coverage: ESPN, Live radio coverage: MRN
With less than a handful of races remaining in his rookie campaign, #20 Home Depot driver Tony Stewart returns to the longest and fastest track on the Winston Cup circuit for 500 miles of bumper-to-bumper restrictor-plate racing. At the Talladega race in April, Stewart earned the first top-5 finish of his Cup career after he qualified 8th, led 10 laps and "mowed the infield lawn" on his way to a 5th-place finish.
While in Alabama, race fans can get a double-dose of Stewart. Not only is he racing his #20 Pontiac on the high-banked Superspeedway, he is running his dirt late model Friday and Saturday night at Talladega's short track.
Stewart is fifth in the overall point standings with two poles, one win, 10 top-5, 18 top-10 and 24 top-15 finishes to his credit.
Tony Stewart, Driver -- (Fifth in standings with 4,004 points) On racing at Talladega: "Racing at Talladega is a blast. It's fast and things happen in a hurry. I've learned a little more about the draft since the spring race at Talladega. Experience is key in having the ability to put myself in position for the end of the race and to make the right move at the right time. The veteran drivers have learned the tricks over time and they know how to work the draft whereas I still have those rookie stripes on the back of my car. I just hope we don't get caught mowing the lawn again.
"I'm going to be pretty busy in Alabama this weekend doing what I love most - racing. It should make for an interesting three days. I'm running my dirt model on the short track Friday and Saturday night and then I'll jump over to the longest track on the Cup circuit on Sunday. It's like going from slipping and sliding down a country road to running wide open on Europe's Autobahn."
On Rookie Season Ending:
"With the season quickly coming to an end, it's even more crucial for us to stick to our game plan. At the beginning of the season we didn't plan to be in the top-5 in points. We set what we thought were realistic goals for our rookie year. Now that we've gotten to this point, we want to stay here. It would be an awesome accomplishment for this Home Depot team to finish in the top-five in points."