NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner/driver Tony Stewart is one of the best in the series when it comes to road racing: in 29 road course starts, he has seven wins and 19 top 10 finishes; only Jeff Gordon’s record of nine wins is currently better than Stewart’s. But with the introduction of the Gen-6 car and his 28th-place performance at Sonoma last month, Stewart admits to being a little worried about the Cup Series’ upcoming trip to Watkins Glen International.
“Watkins Glen, I mean, I’m nervous about Watkins Glen now,” admitted Stewart in a recent NASCAR teleconference. “We were so bad at Sonoma that we’re definitely going to have to go to work and find a lot to get our car better.”
“The biggest thing is we seemed to be so far off at Sonoma, so underestimated how we thought our car was going to be for the race,” continued Stewart. “You know, I just feel like we’ve got a lot of work to do. There were guys that we were around and saw during the race that their cars had a lot of grip, were fast, had speed. We just struggled for grip the whole time we were there. That’s something that’s kind of uncharacteristic for us. I think it’s getting the handling where we need to be is the biggest thing I’m worried about right now.”
When Stewart did the car swap at WGI with Formula One champ Lewis Hamilton in 2011, he became a big proponent of adding a part of the track known as “the boot” to the layout used by the Cup Series. “I haven’t heard any more as far as whether it’s gained any momentum on that,” said Stewart. “But there was no doubt in my mind there are three distinct braking zones there and passing opportunities that would be available because of that. I think the brake technology has come a long way to where I don’t think you’d have to worry about brake heat, losing brakes. So it just was a neat section of the track. It had great elevation change in it, some really neat corners. It’s already been a great event there, but I think it would be neat to be able to add that section to it.”
NASCAR’s Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series return to The Glen Thursday through Sunday, August 8th through 11th, for the Cheez-Its 355 at The Glen and the Zippo 200. Follow the NASCAR action leading up to the races at www.nascar.com, and get tickets for the races at www.theglen.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by NASCAR Media.
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