Tony Stewart Comments regarding realignment of 2004 Winston Cup schedule BROOKLYN, Mich., (June 13, 2003) - NASCAR announced today that the 2004 Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway will be moved from its traditional Labor Day weekend...
Tony Stewart Comments regarding realignment of 2004 Winston Cup schedule
BROOKLYN, Mich., (June 13, 2003) - NASCAR announced today that the 2004 Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway will be moved from its traditional Labor Day weekend date to Sun., Nov. 14, making way for a second NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at California Speedway in Fontana. The 2004 Labor Day weekend race will be under the lights at the two-mile California Speedway on Sun., Sept. 5. The schedule will remain at 36 point races, with North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham losing its fall date.
Below are comments from reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart regarding the schedule realignment.
Q: What are your thoughts on the schedule realignment for 2004?
"My answer is pretty simple on this one. I don't make the race schedule, I just go wherever the race is on that weekend. We still have 36 point races. Wherever we're at on any given race weekend - what matters to me is that we do everything we can do to win the race and get as many points as possible."
Q: Will the Southern 500 continue to carry the same kind of stature it has for the past 54 years despite not being held during the Labor Day weekend?
"It's not like the race has gone away. It's still there. It's still a tough track and it's still 500 miles. Just because it's in November doesn't make it any less of a race. It's still a race I want to win. I feel like the history is still there, it's just on a different date."
Q: Is the loss of a race at Rockingham - a track which has character of its own - to California - a track that is similar in scope to Michigan, Las Vegas, Chicagoland and Kansas - disappointing from a racer's standpoint, in that you're losing a race at a track that is unique?
"Well, it is what it is. I really don't know what else there is to say. Like I said, I don't make up the schedule. Wherever we are on a Saturday night or a Sunday is where we are. NASCAR has obviously done a great job of growing this sport, and if a second race at California is a way to continue that growth, then who's to argue?"