Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tony Stewart Using Winning 2009 All-Star Chassis at Pocono This Week

Stewart Chassis Selection for Pocono: No. 14-515
This car is a carryover chassis from the former Haas CNC team, but it was essentially rebuilt since failing to qualify for the November 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Prior to Texas, Chassis No. 14-515 made two starts, with its debut coming in August at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. There, Tony Raines qualified 30th and finished 31st. The car was then tested Sept. 9 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta in preparation for its next start at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. Raines was again at the wheel, qualifying 25th and finishing a respectable 23rd.

The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.)Motor Speedway marked Chassis No. 14-515’s third career start, but first of 2009 and first with Stewart at the controls. The non-points race displayed a marked change for the car, as Stewart wheeled Chassis No. 14-515 into the lead on lap 98, where he held the point for the final two circuits around the 1.5-mile oval to take the car’s first victory as well as the first win of any kind for Stewart-Haas Racing.

The car saw track time again June 1-2 when it participated in a Goodyear tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Last year’s Brickyard 400 was the car’s first point-paying start of 2009, where it qualified seventh and led two laps before finishing a solid third. It sat idle until getting a new body and a trip to the wind tunnel in preparation for its sixth career start this past May at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. There, it had an up-and-down performance, starting 24th and leading five laps while getting caught up in two on-track incidents that left it
23rd when the race ended.

With a new body honed in the wind tunnel, Chassis No. 14-515 returns to the track this weekend at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.


There’s school of thought that if you run well at Indianapolis, you’ll run well at Pocono and vice versa. Is that still the case?
“It used to be that if you ran well at Pocono then you had a good shot at running well at Indy. I don’t know if it’s still correlated the last couple years with the new car. The thing about Indy is that it’s glass smooth. It’s got a couple little bumps here and there, but you go to Pocono and it’s rough and bumpy. The setups are quite a bit different now.”

Your win at Pocono last June came in a fuel mileage race. Can you explain what you did to make sure you had enough fuel to go the distance while many of your competitors did not?
“I’ve lost a lot more races like that than I’ve won. It was between Carl (Edwards) and I. We were the strongest two cars at the end of the race and we were able to get the track position we needed. Our guys did a great job of getting us out of the pits in the lead and that gave us the opportunity to make Carl push harder in the beginning to get the lead. Once he went into that fuel conservation mode, we had to follow suit. To be in a situation where your speed is dictated off the guy behind you and not off of what you can do, it’s a different style of racing. It’s hard. It’s just as hard, if not tougher, than trying to run 100 percent.”

Explain a lap around Pocono.
“Turn one is probably the easiest of the three – you drive it in kind of deep and then try to float the car through the corner. You go down the backstretch and into the tunnel turn and it’s basically one lane. It’s flat and very line-sensitive. You’ve got to make sure you’re right on your marks every lap when you go through there. Then you’ve got a short chute into turn three. It’s a big, long corner and it too is very line-sensitive. Add the fact that we’ve got a straightaway that’s three-quarters of a mile long after that, and it’s very important that you get through the last corner well. You need to come off the corner quickly so that you’re not bogged down when you start down that long straightaway. Each corner has its challenges, and each one tends to present a different set of circumstances with each lap you make.”

From Tony Stewart Press Release - True Speed Communications

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