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Home Depot Racing Team Report: Chicagoland 2006

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Round 18 of 36
USG Sheetrock 400
Chicagoland

Car No.: 20 — Joe Gibbs Racing Home Depot Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS
Teammates: Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 FedEx Chevrolet & J.J. Yeley in the No. 18 VESIcare (solifenacin succinate) Chevrolet
Primary Team Members
Driver: Tony Stewart Crew Chief: Greg Zipadelli
Car Chief: Jason Shapiro Engine Builder: Mark Cronquist
Engine Specialist: Jarrad Egert (pronounced "Egg-ert") Spotter: Mark Robertson

Over-The-Wall Crew Members
Gas Man: Jeff "Gooch" Patterson Front Tire Changer: Ira-Jo Hussey
Catch Can: Brian "Shaggy" Larson Front Tire Carrier: Tom Dean
Windshield: Scott Geerts (pronounced "Gurtz") Rear Tire Changer: Todd Foster
Jackman: Jason Lee Rear Tire Carrier: Jody Fortson

Other Crew Members
Truck Drivers: Scott "Scooter" Crowell Brent Swim
Tire Specialists: Jerold Shires and Bill Byrne Brake Specialist: Jason Shapiro
Shock Specialist: Ronny Crooks and Dave Hansen Engineer: Adam Stevens

Chassis No. 136
This car tested twice ¿ Charlotte May 1-2 and Indianapolis May 30 ¿ before making its racing debut at the spring Pocono race. It enjoyed a strong showing at the 2.5-mile triangle, leading once for six laps before finishing an impressive third.

Year Event Start Finish Status/Laps Laps Led Earnings
2006 Pocono (Spring) 18 3 Running/200 6 $182,311

Team History at Chicagoland Speedway
Year Event Start Finish Status/Laps Laps Led Earnings
2005 *USG Sheetrock 400 13 5 Running/267 0 $169,561
2004 Tropicana 400 10 1 Running/267 160 $336,803
2003 Tropicana 400 1 2 Running/267 80 $213,468
2002 Tropicana 400 6 3 Running/267 35 $153,928
2001 Tropicana 400 27 33 Accident/257 0 $65,900

*Car was qualified by NASCAR Busch Series driver J.J. Yeley

Notes of Interest

  • The USG Sheetrock 400 will mark Stewart's 266th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series start and his sixth career Nextel Cup start at Chicagoland.
  • Stewart is currently fifth in the Nextel Cup point standings with 2,202 points, 299 markers behind series leader Jimmie Johnson. Stewart gained two point positions after his win last Saturday night at Daytona. At this point last year Stewart was third in the standings with 2,242 points, 136 markers behind series leader Johnson. Stewart has scored 40 fewer points this year than he did last year heading into the 18th race of the season. Last year, Stewart won the championship.
  • Stewart is second in miles led this season, pacing the field for 961.82 miles. Greg Biffle is first with 1,211.06 miles led. Matt Kenseth is third with 700.20 miles led. Kasey Kahne is fourth with 560.91 miles led. And Jeff Gordon is fifth with 546.45 miles led. No other drivers have led more than 349 miles this season.
  • Stewart has led at least one lap in 12 of the 17 races held this season. Stewart's total of 894 laps led is the most of all drivers. Greg Biffle trails Stewart with a total of 847 laps led. No other drivers have led more than 529 laps. As a result, Stewart has earned a total of 80 lap leader bonus points, the second-most of any Nextel Cup driver and 45 more than championship point leader Jimmie Johnson.
  • Stewart has the eighth best average running position (13.161) in the 17 races held this season. Jimmie Johnson leads this category with an average running position of 10.857, just 2.304 positions better than Stewart.
  • Stewart has recorded the fastest lap on the race track a total of 368 times in the 17 races held this season, second only to Greg Biffle who has recorded the fastest lap 433 times.
  • Stewart has the fourth-best driver rating 17 races into the season. His 99.6 rating is 3.3 points higher than fifth-place Jeff Gordon (96.3) and 2.5 points lower than third-place Jimmie Johnson (102.1). Matt Kenseth leads this category with a 104.9 driver rating. The driver rating is a formula consisting of wins, finishes, top-15s, average running position while on lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, laps led and lead lap finishes.
  • Stewart is the second-fastest driver early in a run in the 17 races held this season. His season rank of 6.9 is 2.1 points below series leader Greg Biffle (4.8), the best among Nextel Cup drivers during the first 25 percent of laps in a pit window under green flag conditions. Matt Kenseth is third with an 8.1 rating while Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin is fourth with an 8.6 rating. Jimmie Johnson is fifth with a 9.1 rating.
  • Stewart has enjoyed four straight top-five finishes at Chicagoland. He finished fifth in last year's race, won the 2004 race, finished second in 2003 and finished third in 2002. In those four races Stewart led a total of 275 laps, or 25.7 percent of the 1,068 laps available. In all five Chicagoland races, no other driver has led more laps than Stewart.
  • Stewart won his seventh career Nextel Cup pole at Chicagoland in 2003. He set a new track record in the process, lapping the 1.5-mile oval in 29.223 seconds at 184.786 mph. (Jeff Gordon broke Stewart's qualifying record the following year with a time of 28.866 seconds at a speed of 186.942 mph. Jimmie Johnson currently holds the track qualifying record with a time of 28.701 seconds at a speed of 188.147 mph, a mark he set last year.) Stewart now has 10 career poles on his Nextel Cup resume, with the most recent one coming 21 races ago at Martinsville.
  • Race Rewind I ¿ Stewart won the 2004 race at Chicagoland in his backup car. During the weekend's first practice session, Stewart crashed his primary race car in turn three after hitting oil on the race track. It was the first time in the No. 20 team's existence that they had to use their backup race car following a crash in practice. Obviously, the backup car proved to be no slouch, as it qualified 10th and had a four-second lead over second-place Jimmie Johnson by lap 60. If one knew the car's history, its success would have come as no surprise. It was the same car that won the pole and led the most laps in finishing second to Ryan Newman in the 2003 Chicagoland race.
  • Race Rewind II ¿ For the second time in as many races at Chicagoland, Stewart crashed his primary car in the opening laps of practice for last year's race at Chicagoland. It marked just the second time in the No. 20 team's existence they had to use their backup race car following a crash in practice. Joe Gibbs Racing's NASCAR Busch Series driver ¿ J.J. Yeley ¿ made four laps of practice in Stewart's backup car and then qualified a very respectable 13th. After sitting out Friday's track activities, Stewart returned to action on Saturday to practice the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet. He went on to finish a solid fifth in the race on Sunday.
  • In his runner-up finish to Ryan Newman in the 2003 race at Chicagoland, Stewart led three times for 80 laps ¿ the most of any driver ¿ to score just as many points as Newman did for winning (180). It was that type of scenario ¿ where the second-place driver earns as many points as the first-place driver ¿ that prompted NASCAR to adjust the points system beginning with the 2004 season. Now, even if the second-place driver leads the most laps and earns the 10 bonus points that go along with leading the most laps, the maximum amount of points he can receive is 180, while the winner of the race is assured of earning 185 points.
  • Stewart will make a return to the NASCAR Busch Series on Saturday driving the #33 Old Spice Chevrolet for Kevin Harvick Inc., in the USG Durock 300. It will be Stewart's first career Busch Series start at Chicagoland. The USG Durock 300 will mark Stewart's seventh race as part of his 11-race Busch Series schedule for 2006. Stewart has a total of two wins, four poles, 13 top-fives and 14 top-10s in 59 Busch Series starts.
    • 6 starts for Kevin Harvick in 2006 (won at Daytona; 12th at Las Vegas; DNF at Talladega; led 12 laps at Darlington before a crash with a lapped car dropped him to 29th; DNF at Charlotte; 12th at Daytona in July)
    • 11 starts for Kevin Harvick in 2005 (won at Daytona; 2 poles ¿ California & Watkins Glen; 2nd at Atlanta; 4th at Watkins Glen; 5th at Phoenix; 15th at Spring Richmond; 23rd at Indianapolis; 5 DNFs ¿ California, Texas, Talladega, Charlotte and Richmond)
    • 1 start for Joe Gibbs in 2005 (crashed while contending for the lead at Fall Charlotte)
    • 1 start for Richard Childress in 2004 (2nd at Spring California)
    • 1 start for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2004 (led a race-high 105 laps at Kansas but crashed while leading last lap ¿ finished 25th)
    • 2 starts for Kevin Harvick in 2004 (5th at Spring Charlotte and 11th at Atlanta)
    • 1 start for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2003 (led a race-high 46 laps at Michigan but finished 11th when rain cut race short)
    • 22 starts for Joe Gibbs in 1998 (2 poles ¿ Spring and Fall Rockingham; 5 top-five finishes)
    • 5 starts for Joe Gibbs in 1997 (1 top-five ¿ 3rd at Fall Charlotte; two top-10s ¿ Fall Charlotte and Fall Rockingham)
    • 9 starts for Harry Ranier in 1996 (best start and finish were at Spring Bristol, 7th and 16th, respectively)
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