Home Depot Racing Team Report: NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge

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NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge

Car No.: 20 — Joe Gibbs Racing Home Depot Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Teammates: Bobby Labonte in the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet & Jason Leffler in the #11 FedEx Chevrolet
Primary Team Members
Driver: Tony Stewart Crew Chief: Greg Zipadelli
Car Chief: Scott Diehl (pronounced "Deal") Engine Builders: 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: Chuck White Rear Tire Carrier: Jody Fortson

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

Car History - Chassis No. 97
This is a brand new chassis, with the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge marking the first time Chassis No. 97 will turn a wheel. While extensively tested in the wind tunnel, it has not made a single lap on the race track.

Team History during the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge
Year Event Start Finish Status/Laps Led Earnings
2004 NEXTEL All-Star Challenge 5 3 Running/90 16 $216,200
2003 The Winston 2 14 Accident/69 39 $126,604
2002 The Winston 23 6 Running/90 4 $46,000
2001 The Winston 4 3 Running/70 13 $110,000
2000 The Winston 6 15 Accident/62 0 $30,210
1999 The Winston 21 2 Running/70 5 $155,037
1999 The Winston Open 2 1 Running/50 49 $33,640

Notes of Interest

  • This is Stewart's seventh year in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and his seventh year in the All-Star race at Charlotte.
  • Stewart won The Winston Open during his rookie year in 1999 to advance into The Winston, where he finished second for his career best finish in The Winston.
  • Stewart won the first segment of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge in 2004 and the second segment of The Winston in 2001.
  • Stewart will sport a Madagascar paint scheme for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. Madagascar, a computer-animated comedy by DreamWorks, debuts May 27 in theatres nationwide.
  • Four people who will get a sneak preview of Madagascar are Kathryn Williams, Donald Williams, Della Casper and Karen Koschalk. Kathryn Williams won a contest sponsored by The Home Depot to catch a sneak preview of Madagascar along with a VIP race weekend during the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. The Milwaukee resident and her three friends will visit Joe Gibbs Racing for a reception on Thursday before attending the sneak preview later that evening. The foursome will then spend Friday and Saturday at the track.
  • Home Depot store #6368, located in Pace, Fla., will be represented on the lower rear quarterpanel of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet during the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. Store #6368 was judged to be the outstanding store of the week, thereby earning its place on the orange and white Joe Gibbs Racing machine.
  • On Tuesday, Stewart was on NBC's "Today" show helping Miechel Bassett of Evansville, Ind., fulfill her "Live for Today" dream. Bassett, a housewife and mother of two, wanted to drive a NASCAR stock car. And in a two-seater Home Depot Chevrolet provided by the Richard Petty Driving Experience, Stewart took Bassett for a handful of white-knuckle laps around Richmond International Raceway's .750-mile oval. After pulling onto pit road following the run with Stewart, Bassett got to compare Stewart's driving style with that of Dale Earnhardt Jr., as the NASCAR icon was also on hand to make Bassett's "Live for Today" experience a memorable one. Bassett's wish was one of more than 60,000 received by "Today" as part of its month-long series, "Live for Today". From playing baseball in a Major League ballpark to running with the bulls in Pamplona, "Today" whittled down the responses to a list of the top 50 things that many want to do in their lifetime. Bassett's dream slotted in at 11th. America's #1 morning show for almost 10 years in a row, "Today" is co-anchored by Katie Couric and Matt Lauer.
  • The Home Depot, in partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and the national non-profit organization KaBOOM!, announced last month a commitment to build 10 NASCAR-themed playgrounds through "Racing to Play". The program's mission is to bring the excitement of NASCAR to at-risk youth in NASCAR race communities. The "Racing to Play" program will identify and work with 10 organizations in select race markets to build NASCAR-themed KaBOOM! playgrounds in a single day at the organization's site. The program will target organizations that serve children, including those that support at-risk youth and provide positive after-school and learning environments. The initial kick-off build will be June 16 at the Jackson Arts & Technology Academy in Jackson, Mich., prior to the Michigan 400. The next two builds are scheduled for the Daytona Beach Housing Authority (June 30, Daytona Beach, Fla.) and the Carol Murphy Center (July 7, Markham, Ill.). Sites are still being determined for the seven remaining build markets: Indianapolis; Fontana, Calif.; Richmond, Va.; Talladega, Ala.; Kansas City, Kan.; Atlanta; and Phoenix. Stewart, along with fellow JGR drivers and crews, will participate in the builds.
  • Stewart will make his fifth career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start Friday night in the Quaker Steak & Lube 200 at Charlotte driving the #47 Chevrolet Tork Silverado for Morgan-Dollar Motorsports. (The Morgan-Dollar team, led by crew chief Randy Goss, won in its last outing at Martinsville Speedway with Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Bobby Labonte behind the wheel.) In his four previous Craftsman Truck Series starts, Stewart has logged two wins, a third and a 10th. Both wins came at Richmond in Chevrolets prepared by Andy Petree Racing (September 2003 and September 2002). The third-place effort came last year at Richmond in Stewart's only start for Morgan-Dollar, while the 10th place effort came in Stewart's first career Truck Series start at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 1996 in a Ranier-Walsh Racing-prepared Chevrolet.
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