The Winston Pontiac racing Notes

NOTES AND QUOTES Winston Open/The Winston Lowe=92s Motor Speedway May 22, 1999 TONY STEWART (No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac Grand Prix): =93It was a great run = for the Home Depot Pontiac. I can=92t say enough about Greg Zipadelli and t= he crew.

NOTES AND QUOTES Winston Open/The Winston Lowe=92s Motor Speedway May 22, 1999

TONY STEWART (No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac Grand Prix): =93It was a great run = for the Home Depot Pontiac. I can=92t say enough about Greg Zipadelli and t= he crew. They=92ve given me a great race car two nights in a row now. I=92= ve got to thank Bobby Labonte. He ran a couple of laps for me while I was t= rying to get back from Indy. We=92ll make a couple of adjustments to make t= his thing better. We=92re probably going to make a track bar adjustment and= maybe a spring rubber in the left-rear to get the car driving a little bett= er off the corner. We=92ll make a couple of small adjustments, nothing real= large. For a 30-lap run versus a 50-lap run we need for the car to be a li= ttle better earlier. I=92m going to have an awful lot of fun trying (to win= The Winston).=94

BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix): =93The thin= g just wouldn=92t get up to speed. I got hit from behind once and ran into = some speedy dry in turn two and got a little loose. I got hit again and I g= ot hit again. I was just trying to get out of the way. I had it wide open = but the motor just wouldn=92t go. On that last restart it just wouldn=92t g= o. The 24 car got by and the 3 car was on my right-rear and I got a little = loose off turn two. When I got on the gas it just never went. Something wa= s happening internally where it was just not accelerating like it should hav= e. I lost a little oil pressure before that. I was trying to make it to la= p 30 and we just didn=92t make it. It just seemed like it wouldn=92t go. I= was trying to get out of the way and I just kept getting hit. When I got f= urther out of the way I still kept getting hit. I thought the motor was loc= ked up by that point and time. So, I started to get way out of the way and = I got hit again.=94

ERNIE IRVAN (No. 36 M&M=92s Pontiac Grand Prix):  =93Our Pontiac was running=
 pretty decent.  I was just trying to bide some time.  I got up on the outsi=
de and evidently something happened to the 18.  He was coming backwards real=
 quick and then all heck broke loose.  It was just a bad deal.=94

TONY STEWART (No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac Grand Prix): =93I got real lucky on= the backstretch and got through the big wreck. Greg Zipadelli and all the = guys have been working every bit as hard as I have and I may be traveling ba= ck and forth traveling in the air, but they=92ve been at this race car makin= g it better. It was just unbelievable. I was really happy with the way the= night went. =20 =09=93Jeff and I were talking about it, and we both took two tires and we kn= ow we were hung with it. We had to take a shot at it, take a gamble, and I= =92d rather gamble and finish second than not and finishing further back pos= sibly. We almost held him off. =09=93I enjoyed racing with Gordon. When you=92ve been compared to Jeff for= so long it=92s nice to be able to go and race with him. The guy=92s a clas= s act. He raced me clean. You can tell he=92s a tough competitor. That re= start he was going for everything he had. It was a little much, but at the = same time he raced me and gave me room and it was a lot of fun racing with h= im, so I=92m looking forward to running with him more in the future. =20 =09=93It was a good run. I=92m real happy with it. They did a great job ge= tting this thing ready to go and it just boiled down to the dedication of th= is team. If I had had anything for him at the end don=92t you think I=92d h= ave showed it? That was everything I had for 10 laps. I didn=92t lift or a= nything. When Terry was on the outside of me, and I know he=92s mad at me b= ecause he flipped me off going down the backstretch, but I just went in ther= e and pushed. I was racing him hard. I wasn=92t going to give it to me. =09=93In North Carolina I=92d give this weekend an A-plus for me and in Indi= ana about a C right now. We=92ve got to work on that tomorrow. It felt gre= at in victory lane (for the Winston Open) and it would have felt great to be= there for The Winston, too. I promise you, I will not complain with a seco= nd-place finish. =09=93I told Jeff Gordon he=92s still got some sprint car driver in him beca= use he got me on that first start. It=92s kind of like the old days. When = a guy jumps the start like that you know what to expect the second time. We= got a really good jump on him and I just wish we would have had four tires = to carry to the end. =09=93I could have told you the two-tire stop wasn=92t the right move as soo= n as I saw Terry in my mirror. When the guy=92s coming that hard it=92s an = obvious tell-tale sign. We went to The Winston after the Winston Open and t= ightened it up a little bit. The runs were a little shorter and we got it t= oo tight. We fought that all night and kept making it better and better. W= e just got snookered on the restart and we got called back with Jeff. Trust= me, he=92s still got some sprint car driver left in him. For everybody who= thinks he forgets where he came from, he=92s still got it,=20 don=92t worry about that. After we got the restart we just got beat by four= tires. Terry was strong. We were actually better than he was right before= the end there, but he gambled and rolled the dice and it paid off for him. = I think he thinks I tried to run him up high in one and two and it was all = I could do to keep from wrecking. I just drove it in too deep. Tonight was= a good learning night. I learned a lot tonight that will help us next week= . Hopefully, he won=92t take it personal and he=92ll understand I just made= a mistake. =09=93We managed to get through both wrecks without a dent in the car. We l= earned a lot tonight. We could have pulled it off. I think we got beat by = two tires and think taking on four wasn=92t the hot ticket. Once I saw Terr= y pull up next to Jeff I thought, =91We might be in trouble here. At the ra= te he was closing in on me, I could tell. I was running as hard as I could = and gave it everything I had. That=92s as hard as I could run. =09=93I=92m going to get a shower and get in the airplane and head to Indian= apolis. We=92ll see what happens tomorrow and if our car can stay in the to= p 33 we=92ll leave the primary car in and if not we=92ll roll the backup car= out and we=92ll go put that car in the show. I=92m going to make sure I ge= t in the Indy 500. I=92m glad we had a good night here. =09=93It=92s a gamble (two tires). Everybody is rolling the dice. It=92s a= 10-lap dash and this is the only place you do it. I still am not disappoin= ted. I think we did the right think. We just got caught out by it. Second= was all we could do tonight. After the Winston Open and running second ton= ight I=92m on cloud nine. I=92m sure when I run into Indianapolis I=92m sur= e I=92ll be worn out. Right now I=92m on a high right now and I want to go = hug my guys. =09=93I just wanted to be in The Winston. Mike Skinner and I are real good = friends and even though are sponsors are competitors we don=92t even think a= bout it. He=92s one of the best friends I=92ve got here in the Winston Cup = Series and I can=92t think of a better guy I=92d rather race to get in The W= inston than him. He=92s helped me a lot this year and I can=92t thank him e= nough for everything he=92s done for me. I just wanted to make sure we got = Home Depot in The Winston this year. =09=93I sure wasn=92t going to give him (Labonte) this 10-lap race. I could= n=92t keep it on the bottom and I slid up and I got real loose and out of th= e gas and let him go. I sure didn=92t mean to try and run him up that high.= =94

WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Pontiac Grand Prix): =93We didn=92t have th= e car where we wanted it, but we never got the chance to get it better eithe= r. We were awfully loose. We have another Pontiac for the 600 that=92s been= pretty good for us, so we=92re ready to come back.=94

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Newsgroups: rec.autos.sport.info Organization: motorsport.com, inc. Approved: jackd@motorsport.com From: Motorsport News International <press@motorsport.com> Followup-To: rec.autos.sport.nascar Date: Sun, 23 May 1999 00:31:01 EDT Subject: NASCAR: The Winston Pontiac racing Notes

NOTES AND QUOTES Winston Open/The Winston Lowe's Motor Speedway May 22, 1999

TONY STEWART (No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac Grand Prix): "It was a great run for the Home Depot Pontiac. I can't say enough about Greg Zipadelli and the crew. They've given me a great race car two nights in a row now. I've got to thank Bobby Labonte. He ran a couple of laps for me while I was trying to get back from Indy. We'll make a couple of adjustments to make this thing better. We're probably going to make a track bar adjustment and maybe a spring rubber in the left-rear to get the car driving a little better off the corner. We'll make a couple of small adjustments, nothing real large. For a 30-lap run versus a 50-lap run we need for the car to be a little better earlier. I'm going to have an awful lot of fun trying (to win The Winston)."

BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix): "The thing just wouldn't get up to speed. I got hit from behind once and ran into some speedy dry in turn two and got a little loose. I got hit again and I got hit again. I was just trying to get out of the way. I had it wide open but the motor just wouldn't go. On that last restart it just wouldn't go. The 24 car got by and the 3 car was on my right-rear and I got a little loose off turn two. When I got on the gas it just never went. Something was happening internally where it was just not accelerating like it should have. I lost a little oil pressure before that. I was trying to make it to lap 30 and we just didn't make it. It just seemed like it wouldn't go. I was trying to get out of the way and I just kept getting hit. When I got further out of the way I still kept getting hit. I thought the motor was locked up by that point and time. So, I started to get way out of the way and I got hit again."

ERNIE IRVAN (No. 36 M&M's Pontiac Grand Prix): "Our Pontiac was running pretty decent. I was just trying to bide some time. I got up on the outside and evidently something happened to the 18. He was coming backwards real quick and then all heck broke loose. It was just a bad deal."

TONY STEWART (No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac Grand Prix): "I got real lucky on the backstretch and got through the big wreck. Greg Zipadelli and all the guys have been working every bit as hard as I have and I may be traveling back and forth traveling in the air, but they've been at this race car making it better. It was just unbelievable. I was really happy with the way the night went. "Jeff and I were talking about it, and we both took two tires and we know we were hung with it. We had to take a shot at it, take a gamble, and I'd rather gamble and finish second than not and finishing further back possibly. We almost held him off. "I enjoyed racing with Gordon. When you've been compared to Jeff for so long it's nice to be able to go and race with him. The guy's a class act. He raced me clean. You can tell he's a tough competitor. That restart he was going for everything he had. It was a little much, but at the same time he raced me and gave me room and it was a lot of fun racing with him, so I'm looking forward to running with him more in the future. "It was a good run. I'm real happy with it. They did a great job getting this thing ready to go and it just boiled down to the dedication of this team. If I had had anything for him at the end don't you think I'd have showed it? That was everything I had for 10 laps. I didn't lift or anything. When Terry was on the outside of me, and I know he's mad at me because he flipped me off going down the backstretch, but I just went in there and pushed. I was racing him hard. I wasn't going to give it to me. "In North Carolina I'd give this weekend an A-plus for me and in Indiana about a C right now. We've got to work on that tomorrow. It felt great in victory lane (for the Winston Open) and it would have felt great to be there for The Winston, too. I promise you, I will not complain with a second-place finish. "I told Jeff Gordon he's still got some sprint car driver in him because he got me on that first start. It's kind of like the old days. When a guy jumps the start like that you know what to expect the second time. We got a really good jump on him and I just wish we would have had four tires to carry to the end. "I could have told you the two-tire stop wasn't the right move as soon as I saw Terry in my mirror. When the guy's coming that hard it's an obvious tell-tale sign. We went to The Winston after the Winston Open and tightened it up a little bit. The runs were a little shorter and we got it too tight. We fought that all night and kept making it better and better. We just got snookered on the restart and we got called back with Jeff. Trust me, he's still got some sprint car driver left in him. For everybody who thinks he forgets where he came from, he's still got it, don't worry about that. After we got the restart we just got beat by four tires. Terry was strong. We were actually better than he was right before the end there, but he gambled and rolled the dice and it paid off for him. I think he thinks I tried to run him up high in one and two and it was all I could do to keep from wrecking. I just drove it in too deep. Tonight was a good learning night. I learned a lot tonight that will help us next week. Hopefully, he won't take it personal and he'll understand I just made a mistake. "We managed to get through both wrecks without a dent in the car. We learned a lot tonight. We could have pulled it off. I think we got beat by two tires and think taking on four wasn't the hot ticket. Once I saw Terry pull up next to Jeff I thought, 'We might be in trouble here.' At the rate he was closing in on me, I could tell. I was running as hard as I could and gave it everything I had. That's as hard as I could run. "I'm going to get a shower and get in the airplane and head to Indianapolis. We'll see what happens tomorrow and if our car can stay in the top 33 we'll leave the primary car in and if not we'll roll the backup car out and we'll go put that car in the show. I'm going to make sure I get in the Indy 500. I'm glad we had a good night here. "It's a gamble (two tires). Everybody is rolling the dice. It's a 10-lap dash and this is the only place you do it. I still am not disappointed. I think we did the right thing. We just got caught out by it. Second was all we could do tonight. After the Winston Open and running second tonight I'm on cloud nine. I'm sure when I run into Indianapolis I'm sure I'll be worn out. Right now I'm on a high right now and I want to go hug my guys. "I just wanted to be in The Winston. Mike Skinner and I are real good friends and even though are sponsors are competitors we don't even think about it. He's one of the best friends I've got here in the Winston Cup Series and I can't think of a better guy I'd rather race to get in The Winston than him. He's helped me a lot this year and I can't thank him enough for everything he's done for me. I just wanted to make sure we got Home Depot in The Winston this year. "I sure wasn't going to give him (Labonte) this 10-lap race. I couldn't keep it on the bottom and I slid up and I got real loose and out of the gas and let him go. I sure didn't mean to try and run him up that high."

WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Pontiac Grand Prix): "We didn't have the car where we wanted it, but we never got the chance to get it better either. We were awfully loose. We have another Pontiac for the 600 that's been pretty good for us, so we're ready to come back."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Bobby Labonte , Mike Skinner