Stewart, Zipadelli & DLPÂ® HDTV Use Charlotte Busch Series Race as Nextel Cup Test Bed HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., (Oct. 10, 2005) - It's no secret that numerous NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams participate in companion NASCAR Busch Series races to gain...
Stewart, Zipadelli & DLP® HDTV Use Charlotte Busch Series Race as Nextel Cup Test Bed
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., (Oct. 10, 2005) - It's no secret that numerous NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams participate in companion NASCAR Busch Series races to gain an extra edge. But it's rare when a sponsor emulates that formula, utilizing a Busch Series event to better its sponsorship activation on the Cup side. But with the help of Joe Gibbs Racing driver Tony Stewart and crew chief Greg Zipadelli, that's exactly what Texas Instruments is doing with its DLP® HDTV brand in this weekend's Dollar General 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte.
DLP is a display technology that is used within the hottest HDTVs, from top brands like Samsung, Toshiba and Mitsubishi. DLP is a Texas Instruments technology that enables incredibly high contrast, vibrant colors, and clear, sharp pictures. DLP will also not suffer from burn-in or fading, and the picture quality of DLP technology is virtually immune to degradation.
Both Joe Gibbs Racing and Texas Instruments are using the Dollar General 300 to prepare for the future. In the case of Stewart and Zipadelli, it's for Saturday night's UAW-GM Quality 500 Nextel Cup race. For Texas Instruments' DLP HDTV, it's for their association with Hall of Fame Racing, the Nextel Cup team owned by NFL quarterback greats Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman that will be debut at the 2006 Daytona 500.
Stewart and Zipadelli will campaign the #19 DLP HDTV Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing in Friday night's Busch Series race, taking what they learn from the numerous practice, qualifying and race laps they'll log and applying it to the setup of their #20 Home Depot Chevrolet stashed in the Nextel Cup garage.
The Dollar General 300 will mark the first time Stewart and Zipadelli have worked together in Busch, despite Stewart's 52 career Busch Series starts and Zipadelli's pre-Cup tenure in the Busch North Series. And while the Stewart/Zipadelli combo is new to the Busch Series, it's the longest running driver/crew chief relationship in Cup.
The same can be said for Texas Instruments. Its DLP HDTV brand is an emerging technology, but the Dallas-based company has a strong history of innovation. From oil exploration in the 1930s to the invention of the integrated circuit in 1958 - which revolutionized electronics - to being the leading supplier of cell phone chips today, Texas Instruments technology has had a profound effect on the world for more than 75 years.
Now Texas Instruments is taking a page from the Joe Gibbs Racing playbook.
Through its DLP HDTV brand, Texas Instruments is using the Dollar General 300 to test everything from the television viability of its paint scheme to the roll-out of its industry-leading television components.
Together, Texas Instruments and Joe Gibbs Racing are making sure that Charlotte turns into a win-win situation.
The following are quotes from driver Tony Stewart regarding the Dollar General 300:
How much of a help is it toward the preparation of your Nextel Cup race at Charlotte that you and your crew chief will be able to work together on a Busch Series car that will also race at Charlotte?
"It definitely gives us an opportunity to take what we learn from the Busch car and apply it to the Cup car. Greg (Zipadelli) will see it first-hand, versus a situation if I was driving for a different team where Greg would learn what the car was doing from what I told him. With Zippy being right there and able to work on both cars, it's something that even though will be hectic and very busy for us, it'll be something we can take advantage of."
With a grinder having been used to smooth the surface of the 1.5-mile Charlotte oval since you last raced there in May, is the extra track time you'll get in the #19 DLP HDTV Busch car even more important?
"Just being able to be on the track more is a good thing, considering the track is a different race track from the one we raced on in May. It's certainly an advantage. What we learn on one side of the garage area will help us on the other side and vice versa."
Stewart, Zipadelli & DLP HDTV at Charlotte Page Two
You tested your Busch car at Charlotte Sept. 27. How did it go?
"We were running unbelievable speeds there. I ran a 29 flat with the Busch car. I ran a 28.98 with the Cup car and Jimmie Johnson ran in the 28s in his Busch car. So it definitely picked up speed from the Cup test a week before to the Busch test a week later. The Busch car ran within two-hundredths of a second of my fastest speed in the Cup car, and I think we were the fastest Cup car there in testing. Jimmie Johnson ran faster in his Busch car than we ran in our Cup car there. So with that, we know when we go back it's going to be even faster yet for the Cup cars."
What did you think of the track grinding? Was it necessary?
"Humpy (Wheeler, Lowe's Motor Speedway track president) did a really good job. None of us wanted him to change it in the first place. But with that, Humpy is not one of those guys who is just going to sit there and say well tough - that's what it is and deal with it. He has re-ground the rest of the track. But after a couple of us suggested dragging some tires around it, he dragged truck tires around it for four days and got a lot of rubber in the track and it seemed to have helped it quite a bit. As far as the track being real sensitive to the groove and this and that, I don't think it's near as bad as what it was when the Cup cars tested there. It's a lot better. But with that, we're running wicked fast speeds there right now."
The following are quotes from crew chief Greg Zipadelli regarding the Dollar General 300:
How much of a help is it toward the preparation of your Nextel Cup race at Charlotte that you and your driver are able to work together on a Busch Series car that will also race at Charlotte?
"The race track seemed to be a lot better when we tested the Busch car. It helped build our confidence back as a group. We ran well with it. We worked on the car and we were pretty decent from a speed standpoint. By God that race track is fast now. It'll be interesting to see how it is when we go back and race. We'll see if there will be any passing because it's so fast. The grip was better, but it wasn't awesome to where you could have a lot of side-by-side racing. We'll just have to wait and see."
With a grinder having been used to smooth the surface of the 1.5-mile Charlotte oval since you last raced there in May, is it essentially a new race track?
"At first it felt like it was, but as time went on with two days of Cup testing and a day of Busch testing the track kind of came back a little bit more like it was back in the spring. Hopefully with a bunch of rubber down on the race track it'll actually be better than it was in the spring."
How different is it to go from working on a Nextel Cup car to working on a Busch Series car?
"Every year, everything is light years ahead of where it was the year before. We put the same setup from the Busch car into our Cup car with the exception of a few things. The car drove well. It was a little tight most of the time, but we wanted to leave it like that. The car was okay. It's taken a little bit of an adjustment, because there are a lot of little rules that you can do on the Cup side that you can't do on the Busch side and vice versa. You've got to get familiar with the way they check things and the way they do things. It's a challenge, but it's fun, and that's what we're going to do with it - have some fun."
Stewart scored his first career Busch Series victory at this year's season-opener in Daytona (Fla.), where he improved upon his previous best Busch Series finish of second (three times - Fontana in 2004; Rockingham in 1998; New Hampshire in 1998). Friday night will mark Stewart's fifth career Busch Series start at Charlotte, with the last one coming in May, where Stewart started 32nd and finished 39th in a Chevrolet prepared by Kevin Harvick Inc. Stewart's best Busch Series finish at Charlotte is third, which he earned in October 1997 in his first career Busch Series race at Charlotte.
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