Tony Stewart Richmond Preview

PONTIAC EXCITEMENT 400 Richmond International Speedway -.75 Mile Oval Race 11 of 34 - NASCAR Winston Cup Series May 13-15, 1999 Race time: Saturday, May 15,1999. 7:40 p.m. EDT Live television coverage: ESPN, Live radio coverage: MRN This...

PONTIAC EXCITEMENT 400 Richmond International Speedway -.75 Mile Oval Race 11 of 34 - NASCAR Winston Cup Series May 13-15, 1999 Race time: Saturday, May 15,1999. 7:40 p.m. EDT Live television coverage: ESPN, Live radio coverage: MRN

This weekend, Richmond International Speedway (RIR) plays host to the first night race of the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Series and marks the first cup race for rookie driver Tony Stewart and the #20 Home Depot Pontiac team at Richmond. The performance of the #20 car during testing at RIR was outstanding as Stewart became the first Winston Cup driver to break the RIR record -- turning an impressive 127 mph lap unofficially.

Heading into Richmond sixth in the points' standings with 1,247 points, Stewart continues to prove he is more than just an average rookie. Starting with a front-row debut at the season-opening Daytona 500, a pole at Martinsville, two top-five and four top-10 finishes in his first 10 races, Stewart continues his upward climb as the leading rookie of the 1999 season. After finishing a career best fourth in California, the #20 Home Depot team is fast closing in on their first career victory.

Tony Stewart, Driver On racing at Richmond: "After enjoying a weekend off with my mom and Tony Stewart Day in my home town of Columbus, Indiana, I'm looking forward to racing under the lights at Richmond. Racing at night is completely different than racing during the day, and this will be a great experience for us to run our Home Depot car at night. And, I couldn't be happier with our testing at Richmond! Greg and the rest of the crew seem to have found the perfect setup, which we'll be looking to duplicate this weekend.

"I've raced in the Busch series at Richmond for the past three years. I've learned a lot from those experiences, which have helped me become more comfortable with the track.

"If we can bring home another top-15 finish at Richmond, then that's great for our team, Home Depot and Pontiac. The guys are capable of giving me a good car; they've proven that every week. It's just a matter of me doing my job."

On Pontiacs: "Pontiac's last Winston Cup championship was in1989 so they're due for a win! With Bobby (Labonte) and I both running in the top 10, I hope the momentum we've gained so early in the season will help shorten the gap in the manufacturer's race. I've got a lot of confidence in my Pontiac and I'm real happy with how we've been running lately."

STEWART 1999 NASCAR WINSTON CUP STATS: STARTS POLES WINS TOP 5 TOP 10 TOP 15 WINNINGS 10 1 0 2 4 7 $582,709

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart