DIEHARD 500 Talladega Superspeedway -2.66 Mile Superspeedway Race 9 of 34 - NASCAR Winston Cup Series April 23 - 25, 1999 Race time: Sunday, April 25,1999 1:00 p.m. EDT Live television coverage: ABC, Live radio coverage: MRN At 2.66 miles, ...
DIEHARD 500 Talladega Superspeedway -2.66 Mile Superspeedway Race 9 of 34 - NASCAR Winston Cup Series April 23 - 25, 1999 Race time: Sunday, April 25,1999 1:00 p.m. EDT Live television coverage: ABC, Live radio coverage: MRN
At 2.66 miles, Talladega Superspeedway is the longest track on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit. Aerodynamics and a handling package that gives a car the ability to handle in the draft is crucial to performance at Talladega. Based the performance The Home Depot team at Daytona, Tony Stewart and crew chief Greg Zipadelli are hoping to pickup right where they left off, running competitively on a superspeedway. Last week's Talladega test gave them reason to be confident they can continue the success the team has experienced thus far this season.
A major component of the handling package is shocks. Ronnie Crooks, shock specialist for the #20 The Home Depot Pontiac team, is considered to be the best in the NASCAR Winston Cup garage. A native of nearby Hueytown, AL, Crooks is looking forward to this weekend's Diehard 500 in front of his hometown crowd. As always, he will play an integral role in giving the fans an opportunity to see a great performance by rookie of the year points leader Stewart and The Home Depot Pontiac team.
Tony Stewart, Driver On racing at Talladega: "We all know that Joe Gibbs Racing has an incredible restrictor plate program for the superspeedways. Bobby (Labonte, Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate) sat on the pole and won this race last year. The Home Depot team had a great qualifying effort and a solid run in Daytona. Based on our test last week, I feel like we have a good opportunity to qualify well and race well at Talladega. The track is different from Daytona in that there are not as many big bumps and dips, just a few smaller ones. Drafting is the key thing. Your car has to handle in the draft. We feel like we have a good setup, it is up to me to get a good qualifying lap and take care of the car during the race to be there at the end."
Greg Zipadelli, Crew Chief: On racing at Talladega: "I want to see us pick up right where we left off at Daytona before we had the engine problem. We want to give Tony the opportunity to qualify in the top-ten and bring home a top-ten finish. The key will be giving him a car that will draft well so he can get more drafting experience in practice before the race. After our test last week I feel good about our chances for another solid performance in Talladega."
Ronnie Crooks On racing at his home track with rookie driver Tony Stewart: "It is amazing that they have to call Tony a rookie because he isn't a rookie. He has proved to everyone that he is a very talented driver. It is rewarding for all of us on the crew to work with him because he never gives up and drives the wheels off the racecars we give him. We are looking forward to a good run at Talladega this weekend. After it's all done we will just have to make Tony an adopted member of the "Alabama Gang" so the hometown crowd has a new driver to cheer for."