Tony Stewart's main focus this weekend is Charlotte

Tony Stewart's main focus this weekend is Charlotte

Tony Stewart announced weeks ago that his main focus this May would be Charlotte and not the Indianapolis 500. Stewart, who currently has two wins and is eighth in the points standings, had run both the 500 and 600 over the past few years and last...

Tony Stewart announced weeks ago that his main focus this May would be Charlotte and not the Indianapolis 500. Stewart, who currently has two wins and is eighth in the points standings, had run both the 500 and 600 over the past few years and last year pulled out a top-ten in both events.

So why decide to sit this one out? "We're in a good position right now in the season. We've been running really good everywhere we've been this year. I had the back injury after the Darlington crash, have the opportunity to run for a million dollars and help a very nice race fan hopefully win a million dollars, also. We don't want to take a chance on doing anything that could jeopardize any of those chances for any of us."

Greg Zipadelli and Tony Stewart.
Photo by Greg Gage.

Stewart, driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac is hoping his Charlotte focus will help him to cash in big, a million times. Stewart is one of five drivers to be competing in the No Bull 5 million-dollar bonus. "We typically have always run well, so I'm pretty excited that we have a very, very good shot at winning a million"

Along with Stewart, Sterling Marlin, Jeremy Mayfield, and last week's Winston winner, Ryan Newman will be racing for the added bonus. This marks Stewart's fifth chase at the money. "It seems like a jinx for us at Joe Gibbs Racing. Bobby [Labonte] has been in there quite a few times and not been able to get one, and I haven't gotten one, yet. But, we're real excited about going to Charlotte this week."

Stewart's crew chief, Greg Zipadelli says the plan this weekend is simple. "We're going to take the approach that we have the last three and a half or four years that we've been racing. We're just going to go and we're not going to change our plan any."

Zipadelli is somewhat relieved Stewart will be spending all of his time with the Cup team this year. "It will be good to have him here the whole week. I'm sure someday down the road he is going to want to do it again. Him doing it, I think it's awesome and it's great to be a part of it."

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver, Stewart was on a strict diet regiment with a nutritionist during his double duty stint in Indy cars and stock cars last year. Has he kept up with the diet? "Everybody knows that my favorite meal is the drive-through at McDonald's, so it's hard to get off of that. But, at least three days a week, I'm eating meals that are prepared by nutritionist that are very healthy for me. At least we're trying to combat the four days of fast food with three days of nutrition."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeremy Mayfield , Tony Stewart , Sterling Marlin , Ryan Newman
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing