As the Pocono race draws closer by the breath, viewers are searching for previews and analysis of the race. There are many expert opinions available on the internet however the best report on the issue can probably be provided by an actual driver, such as veteran Tony Stewart.
Many consider Tony Stewart a modern God of NASCAR racing and if not, they won’t waver from accepting the titan’s on and off field dominance in NASCAR. With God gifted impeccable racing skills, his own racing company and talented drivers in his flanks, Stewart can easily be considered as an ace on the track.
Tony Stewart, No. 14 marked driver of the Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet Impala drives for Stewart-Haas Racing. He has shown top class form this season which continued in his last race at Brickyard 400.
Stewart was expected to take the lead in the race and finish with it on the table. However, Lady Luck had other plans. Nonetheless, Stewart managed to finish respectably in the top 10. With the Pocono race upon us, fans are once again hoping Stewart would race ahead of the others and create a lead on track and table.
In a recent press release Stewart built up a preview for the race while analyzing the race course. When asked if hot conditions favored him and if he was getting used to a top 10 finish Stewart had to say, “This time of year, it seems like we get hot. It just seems like when the tracks get hot and slippery that it suits my driving style and the setups Darian (Grubb, crew chief) puts on the car.”
Stewart also admitted that he had raced around the Pocono race track quite often. He gave brief account of what the track is like saying, “Turn one is probably the easiest of the three – you drive it in kind of deep and then try to float the car through the corner. You go down the backstretch and into the tunnel turn and it’s basically one lane. It’s flat and very line-sensitive. You’ve got to make sure you’re right on your marks every lap when you go through there. Then you’ve got a short chute into turn three. It’s a big, long corner and it, too, is very line-sensitive. Add the fact that we’ve got a straightaway that’s three-quarters of a mile long after that, and it’s very important that you get through the last corner well. You need to come off the corner quickly so that you’re not bogged down when you start down that long straightaway. Each corner has its challenges, and each one tends to present a different set of circumstances with each lap you make.”
Upon being questioned what would be the greatest challenge for a driver at Pocono race track Stewart had to say, “All three corners are different – that’s the most challenging part. It seems like you can always get your car good in two of the three corners, but the guys who are contending for the win are the guys who can get their car good for all three corners, which is very hard to do. It seems like if we can get our car to go through the tunnel turn well, then we’re normally able to get it to go through the rest of the racetrack well. The tunnel turn seems to be our toughest turn on the racetrack. Getting through turn two and the last corner of the racetrack that’s flat, long and sweeping – those seem to be the toughest two corners to get through. And if you’re a little bit off, you’re a bunch off. If there’s a guy who can get all three of those corners right, then that’s the guy who’s going to win the race.”
Winning a race by maximizing fuel mileage has been in fashion this year. Apart from Stewart, many other drivers are practicing hard to acquire this skill. Two years back, Stewart won the race at Pocono in a fuel-mileage race. In the press release Stewart explained how he had enough fuel to end the race while his competitors struggled with pit stops.
Stewart enlightened, “I’ve lost a lot more races like that than I’ve won. It was between Carl (Edwards) and I. We were the strongest two cars at the end of the race and we were able to get the track position we needed. Our guys did a great job of getting us out of the pits in the lead and that gave us the opportunity to make Carl push harder in the beginning to get the lead. Once he went into that fuel conservation mode, we had to follow suit. To be in a situation where your speed is dictated off the guy behind you and not off of what you can do, it’s a different style of racing. It’s hard. It’s just as hard, if not tougher, than trying to run 100 percent.”