Texas: Stewart tours GM assembly plant

Tony Stewart Tours Arlington Texas GM Assembly Plant Driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet Toured Body Shop, Patrolled Plant Grounds in Chevy Tahoe Police Package Vehicle and Attended Pep Rally with Plant Employees Arlington, TX - Tony ...

Tony Stewart Tours Arlington Texas GM Assembly Plant

Driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet Toured Body Shop, Patrolled Plant Grounds in Chevy Tahoe Police Package Vehicle and Attended Pep Rally with Plant Employees

Arlington, TX - Tony Stewart, two-time NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion and driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet, was the guest of the management and the over 2,700 UAW Local 276 employees at the Arlington Texas GM Assembly Plant.

Arlington Assembly began building the all-new 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe late last year and the vehicles went on sale in mid-January. Production on the all-new GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade began in January. In addition, Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon Two-mode Hybrid SUVs have been added to the vehicle lineup produced by the facility.

The focus of the plant visit was to showcase the introduction of the new Chevy Tahoe Police Package Vehicle (PPV). In addition, Stewart was given an in-depth tour of the body shop, patrolled the plant grounds in the PPV looking for violators to "ticket", took a test drive in one of the Chevy Hybrid vehicles and participated in a plant-wide pep rally.

"They invited us to visit the body shop side of the plant," Stewart said. "In my previous visits to plants, I have always been on the assembly side. It was really neat to see how all of the robotics work. I basically got to see how the bodies are actually started from the dash panel going down to the floor pan then see how the sides, the top, the hood and everything get put on. It was a neat to watch how as it all goes through the process how the automated robots all work together to basically jig up the pieces before they are welded. It was just really interesting to watch each step on how these vehicles are actually made."

On his patrol of the premises behind the wheel of the PPV, Stewart issued violators "citations" of tickets to qualifying for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS), or tickets to the O'Reilly 300 for the NASCAR Busch Series on Saturday, April 14, 2007 at TMS or an autographed PPV badge.

"I was the second of three police units," Stewart explained. "So was not able to drive in my customary style. It was pretty cool to drive a state-owned vehicle, because I wasn't able to get in to too much trouble there. It was neat to have the officer there with me handing out citations that you didn't have to worry about paying fines or appearing in court.

"We were handing out tickets for the people at the plant got to either go to qualifying or the Saturday Busch race at Texas Motor Speedway. It was great to see the excitement in their eyes when they got tickets to go there."

The day ended for Stewart with a plant-wide pep rally to celebrate his visit.

"It was just amazing to hear from a lot of the employees about how much they appreciate what we do for Chevrolet," Stewart concluded. "At the same time, I am sitting there thinking the same thing about them! They are the ones that make all the stuff and send it out the door. I had a lot of fun there, everybody was really really nice. It was cool to see how many advancements they have in these GM plants."

Stewart will begin his quest for a second consecutive win in his No. 20 Home Depot Monte Carlo SS at TMS when practice begins Friday at 12:30 p.m. CDT. Qualifying is set to begin at 4:10 p.m. that afternoon. Two practice sessions are on the schedule for Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. and final practice from 12:20 to 1:20 p.m. CDT.

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart