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Home Depot Racing Team Report: Michigan Spring 2006

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Round 15 of 36
3M Performance 400
Michigan

Car No.: 20 — Joe Gibbs Racing Home Depot Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS
Teammates: Denny Hamlin in the #11 FedEx Chevrolet & J.J. Yeley in the #18 Interstate Batteries 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 Specialists: Ronny Crooks and Dave Hansen Engineer: Adam Stevens

Chassis No. 139

Michigan marks the racing debut for Chassis No. 139. While it was wind tunnel-tested last Friday, it has never turned a wheel on a race track. This is the second straight week the No. 20 team has debuted a new race car. Last week at Pocono, Stewart finished third in the maiden race for Chassis No. 136.
Team History at Michigan International Speedway
Year Event Start Finish Status/Laps Led Earnings
2005 Batman Begins 400 3 2 Running/200 97 $174,461
2005 GFS Marketplace 400 36 5 Running/200 0 $135,491
2004 DHL 400 27 24 Running/200 0 $106,543
2004 +GFS Marketplace 400 4 9 Running/200 0 $112,493
2003 Sirius 400 2 8 Running/200 51 $110,843
2002 Sirius 400 10 16 Running/199 0 $92,618
2002 Pepsi 400 24 2 Running/200 0 $136,183
2001 Kmart 400 37 25 Running/198 0 $57,490
2001 Pepsi 400 10 27 Running/161 0 $55,890
2000 *Kmart 400 28 1 Running/194 13 $123,800
2000 Pepsi 400 19 41 Accident/36 0 $41,250
1999 Kmart 400 28 9 Out of Gas/198 0 $34,450
1999 Pepsi 400 37 3 Running/200 4 $60,505
* Race cut short due to weather.
+ Qualifying canceled due to weather, starting position set via car owner points

Notes of Interest

  • The 3M Performance 400 will mark Stewart's 263rd career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series start and his 15th career Nextel Cup start at Michigan.
  • Stewart is currently fourth in the Nextel Cup point standings with 1,888 points, 257 markers behind series leader Jimmie Johnson. Stewart gained one point position after his third-place finish last Sunday at Pocono. At this point last year Stewart was 10th in the standings with 1,682 points, 380 markers behind series leader Johnson. Stewart has scored 206 more points this year than he did last year heading into the 15th race of the season. Last year, Stewart won the championship. Stewart is second in miles led this season, pacing the field for 744.83 miles. Greg Biffle is first with 1,186.56 miles led and Matt Kenseth is third with 697.70 miles led. No other drivers have led more than 523 miles this season. Stewart has led at least one lap in 10 of the 14 races held this season. Stewart's total of 807 laps led is second to Greg Biffle's series leading total of 835 laps led. No other drivers have led more than 528 laps. As a result, Stewart has earned a total of 65 lap leader bonus points, the second-most of any Nextel Cup driver and 35 more than championship point leader Jimmie Johnson. Stewart has the seventh-best average running position (12.382) in the 14 races held this season. Matt Kenseth leads this category with an average running position of 10.280. Stewart has recorded the fastest lap on the race track a total of 353 times in the 14 races held this season, second only to Greg Biffle who has recorded the fastest lap 403 times. Stewart has the fourth-best driver rating 14 races into the season. His 101.4 rating is 4.1 points higher than fifth-place Kasey Kahne (97.3). Matt Kenseth leads this category with a 107.9 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 14 races held this season. His season rank of 6.3 is 2.4 points below series leader Greg Biffle (3.9), the best among Nextel Cup drivers during the first 25 percent of laps in a pit window under green flag conditions. Kasey Kahne and Matt Kenseth are tied for third-best with a 7.3 rating, while Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin is fourth-best with an 8.1 rating. Stewart scored his fifth career Nextel Cup win at the 2000 June Michigan race. He now has 25 wins to his resume, with the last one coming eight races ago at Martinsville. Stewart has five top-three finishes at Michigan, with the most recent being a second-place result in last year's June visit to the track. In all, Stewart has nine top-10 finishes in his 14 career Nextel Cup starts at Michigan, with an average finish of 12.5. Stewart has finished in the top-10 in six of his last seven races at Michigan. During Stewart's rookie year in 1999, the June Michigan race was the site of the No. 20 team's only DNF for the season. Stewart earned a ninth-place finish despite running out of gas and not making it across the stripe. In the 2003 June Michigan race, then Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Bobby Labonte and Stewart qualified 1-2 to mark the first and only time two Joe Gibbs Racing cars sat on the front row for a point-paying Nextel Cup race. In 2001, Stewart won Round III of IROC XXV at Michigan for his first career IROC win (6/9) en route to finishing second in IROC points to former Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Bobby Labonte. In addition to a Cup win and an IROC win, Stewart almost added a NASCAR Busch Series win to his Michigan resume. In the 2003 Busch Series race at Michigan, Stewart led twice for 85 laps in his Chance 2 Chevrolet and had his first Busch Series win in sight before his pit strategy was ruined by rain. After making his final pit stop while under green on lap 100, rain began to fall, stopping the race 15 laps short of its scheduled 125-lap distance. Kevin Harvick gambled on fuel economy and stayed out, holding the lead when the rains came. Harvick earned his 11th career Busch Series victory while all Stewart had to show for his efforts was an 11th place finish. Stewart finally earned his first Busch Series win at last year's season-opening Busch Series race at Daytona, and successfully defended his victory by winning this year's Busch race at Daytona. They are the only two wins among Stewart's 58 career Busch Series starts. "You Must Be a Local" - mechanic Bill Byrne is from Marne, Mich., and fabricator and catch can man Brian "Shaggy" Larson is from Escanaba, Mich., while just to the south is mechanic Jerry Cook from Toledo, Ohio; engine specialist Jarrad Egert from Elmore, Ohio; and engineer Adam Stevens from Portsmouth, Ohio. Home Depot store #222, located in Davie, Fla., will be represented on the lower rear quarterpanel of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet during the 3M Performance 400. Store #222 was judged to be the outstanding store of the past week, thereby earning its place on the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing machine.

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