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Home Depot Racing Team Report: Watkins Glen 2005

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Round 22 of 36
Sirius At The Glen
Watkins Glen

Car No.: 20 — Joe Gibbs Racing Home Depot Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Teammates: Bobby Labonte in the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet & Terry Labonte in the #11 FedEx Chevrolet*

(*Terry Labonte's addition to Joe Gibbs Racing for the Watkins Glen race places three NASCAR Winston Cup Series champions on the same team, as Terry won the title in 1984 and 1996, Bobby won in 2000 and Stewart won in 2002. The Labonte brothers are the only brothers to win Cup Series championships.)
Primary Team Members
Driver: Tony Stewart Crew Chief: Greg Zipadelli
Car Chief: Scott Diehl (pronounced "Deal") 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: 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. 48
This car is responsible for all four of Stewart's road course victories, having scored two wins apiece at Sonoma (2001 and 2005) and Watkins Glen (2002 and 2004). It is one of the oldest cars in the Joe Gibbs Racing stable, but it has obviously proven its worth in its 10 career starts - all of which have come at road courses. Chassis No. 48 has only two qualifying efforts outside of the top-10, and its eight top-10 starting positions are highlighted by the pole it scored at Sonoma in 2002. In all, Chassis No. 48 has led 137 of the 1,002 laps available (13.7 percent), including two occasions where it led the most laps - Watkins Glen in 2004 (46 laps led) and Sonoma in 2005 (39 laps led). The #20 team tested Chassis No. 48 at Watkins Glen Aug. 2.
Year Event Start Finish Status/Laps Laps Led Earnings
2005 Sonoma 7 1 Running/110 39 $348,761
2004 Sonoma 17 15 Running/110 1 $107,653
2004 Watkins Glen 4 1 Running/90 46 $195,288
2003 Sonoma 10 11 Running/110 0 $110,988
2003 Watkins Glen 4 11 Running/90 0 $101,233
2002 +Sonoma 1 2 Running/110 6 $143,203
2002 Watkins Glen 3 1 Running/90 34 $165,303
2001 Sonoma 3 1 Running/112 11 $139,875
2001 Watkins Glen 11 26 Running/90 0 $53,035
2000 *Watkins Glen 6 6 Running/90 0 $53,190

*Qualifying canceled due to weather, starting position set via car owner points.
+Race distance shortened due to change in track configuration.

Team History at Road Courses
Year Event Start Finish Status/Laps Led Earnings
2005 Sonoma 7 1 Running/110 39 $348,761
2004 Sonoma 17 15 Running/110 1 $107,653
2004 *Watkins Glen 4 1 Running/90 46 $195,288
2003 Sonoma 10 11 Running/110 0 $110,988
2003 Watkins Glen 4 11 Running/90 0 $101,233
2002 +Sonoma 1 2 Running/110 6 $143,203
2002 Watkins Glen 3 1 Running/90 34 $165,303
2001 Sonoma 3 1 Running/112 11 $139,875
2001 Watkins Glen 11 26 Running/90 0 $53,035
2000 Sonoma 4 10 Running/112 2 $73,610
2000 *Watkins Glen 6 6 Running/90 0 $53,190
1999 Sonoma 2 15 Running/112 0 $43,965
1999 Watkins Glen 4 6 Running/90 0 $45,240

*Qualifying canceled due to weather, starting position set via car owner points.
+Race distance shortened due to change in track configuration.

Notes of Interest

  • The Sirius At The Glen will mark Stewart's 234th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series start, his seventh career start at Watkins Glen and his 14th career road course start.
  • As a result of his win on Aug. 7 at Indianapolis, Stewart gained one position in the Nextel Cup point standings to take the lead in the championship point standings with 2,923 points. Second-place Jimmie Johnson trails Stewart by 75 points, third-place Greg Biffle by 111 points, fourth-place Rusty Wallace by 218 points and fifth-place Kurt Busch by 277 points. At this point last year Stewart was fourth in the standings with 2,761 points, 334 points behind series leader Johnson. Stewart has scored 162 more points this year than he did last year heading into the 22nd race of the season.
  • With a second-place finish June 19 at Michigan, a win June 26 at Sonoma (Calif.), another win July 2 at Daytona (Fla.), a fifth-place effort July 10 at Chicagoland, another win July 17 at New Hampshire, a seventh-place finish July 24 at Pocono and yet another win Aug. 7 at Indianapolis, Stewart advanced from 10th in points to first in just seven races while picking up a staggering 455 points on former series leader Jimmie Johnson. Stewart comes into Watkins Glen with an average finish of third in his last seven races.
  • Stewart has won four of the last six races - Sonoma, Daytona, New Hampshire and Indianapolis. And with his win Aug. 7 at Indianapolis, Stewart moved into a tie with Ricky Rudd for 24th on NASCAR's all-time win list.
  • Stewart has scored nine top-fives and 13 top-10s in the 21 races run this season.
  • Twenty-one races into 2005, Stewart is tied for first with Greg Biffle in bonus points earned with a total of 85. Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch are tied for second in bonus points earned with 65 bonus points apiece, while Ryan Newman is third with 60 bonus points. (Bonus points are awarded only for laps led. Five points are given for leading a lap, while another five points are given for leading the most laps.)
  • Stewart has led the most laps in seven races this year - 107 laps in the Daytona 500, 247 laps at Martinsville (Va.), 97 laps at Michigan, 39 laps at Sonoma (Calif.), 151 laps in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, 232 laps at New Hampshire and 44 laps at Indianapolis. Stewart has led a total of 1,107 laps in the 21 races run this season, the most of any driver. Greg Biffle is second in laps led with 1,012. No other driver has led more than 500 laps.
  • Of the five races remaining before the Chase for the Championship, Stewart has won at four of those venues - Watkins Glen, N.Y. (8/11/2002 & 8/15/2004), Michigan (6/11/2000), Bristol, Tenn. (8/25/2001) and Richmond, Va. (9/11/1999, 5/5/2001 & 5/4/2002). The only venue where Stewart has yet to record a victory is Fontana (Calif.)
  • Stewart has four road course wins in Nextel Cup competition, including the past two road course races - Watkins Glen in 2004 and earlier this year at Sonoma.
  • In his 13 career road course starts, Stewart has five top-twos and eight top-10s. He has only one finish lower than 15th - a 26th place result at Watkins Glen in 2001.
  • Stewart has never recorded a DNF in any of his 13 career road course races and has a lap completion rate of 100 percent.
  • Before coming to Sonoma as a Nextel Cup rookie in 1999 - his first road course race in a stock car - Stewart attended the Bob Bondurant Driving School in Phoenix to polish his road racing skills.
  • Before attending the Bondurant school, Stewart's last foray into road racing had been while he was competing in the World Karting Association in 1987. He was 16 years old.
  • Home Depot store #525, located in Dallas, Texas, will be represented on the lower rear quarterpanel of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet during the Sirius At The Glen. Store #525 was judged to be the outstanding store of the past week, thereby earning its place on the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing machine.
  • Road Scholar - Stewart has raced in two Grand Am Series races this year as part of the Rolex Sports Car Series. His first race came in Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona Feb. 5-6, where he and his Howard-Boss Motorsports co-drivers Jan Lammars and Andy Wallace were leading with less than two hours remaining when a broken gearbox dropped them off the lead lap. But the crew was able to make repairs so that the trio could rejoin the race, whereupon they finished third. It was Stewart's first podium finish in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Stewart competed for Howard-Boss Motorsports again in the June 30 Brumos Porsche 250 - also at Daytona - where he and Wallace finished 22nd. Stewart will join Wallace once more Friday afternoon at The Glen when they compete in the CompUSA 200 Grand Am race.
  • Stewart will make a return to the NASCAR Busch Series on Saturday driving the #33 Old Spice Chevrolet for Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) in the Zippo 200 at The Glen. It will be Stewart's first career Busch Series start at Watkins Glen, and it will also be Stewart's 10th race as part of his 11-race Busch Series schedule for 2005, all of which will come with KHI. Stewart has a total of one win, three poles, 11 top-fives and 12 top-10s in 50 Busch Series starts.
    • 9 starts for Kevin Harvick in 2005 (1 win - Daytona; 1 pole - California; 2nd at Atlanta; 5th at Phoenix; 15th at Richmond; 23rd at Indianapolis; 3 DNFs - Texas, Talladega and 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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