Richard Childress Racing
February 21, 2012
Tony Stewart Event Preview: Drive4COPD 300
"Restrictor-plate races at Daytona are always a wild-card race. You never know who's going to win. We were fortunate enough to win one and then back it up the next year. To do it back-to-back-to-back-to-back is something we're really proud of."
Event Preview Fact Sheet
No. 33 Oreo 100th Birthday/Ritz Crackers Chevrolet Impala
February 25, 2012
Daytona International Speedway
Race Notes and Quotes:
This Week's Oreo/Ritz Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway ... Tony Stewart will pilot Chassis No. 520 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable. This is a brand new racer that will be put through its first competitive pace in this weekend's DRIVE4COPD 300.
Daytona Nuggets ... Stewart has competed at Daytona International Speedway in NASCAR's junior division 12 times and boasts six wins, seven top-five and eight top-10 finishes. The defending race winner has also led 184 laps, completed 99.1 percent of laps contested and has been running at the end of every race with the lone exception being the event in Feb. 1998.
Going for Five ... The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will try to score his fifth consecutive Nationwide Series victory at DIS when he takes the green flag on Saturday. The defending race winner also scored back-to-back wins at DIS in 2005 and 2006.
Tying a Legend ... The Columbus, Ind., native could tie NASCAR legendary driver Dale Earnhardt's Nationwide Series win record this weekend should he take the checkered flag at Daytona International Speedway. Earnhardt is the Nationwide Series' winningest driver with seven victories at the famed 2.5-mile superspeedway - Feb. 1982, 1986, 1990 through 1994.
In-Race Reporters ... Stewart will be ESPN's in-race reporter for the 120-lap feature. In addition, front-tire carrier J.D. Holcomb will wear the crew cam during pit stops.
Happy Birthday, Oreo ... A special paint scheme honoring Oreo's 100th birthday will adorn on the No. 33 Chevrolet this weekend. On March 6, 1912, the first Oreo rolled off the line at the Chelsea Market bakery in Manhattan and has since then become a household name. In honor of their milestone, Birthday Cake Oreos are now on the shelves of convenience stores so that fans across the country can help celebrate this occasion. Visit www.oreo.com to share in the moment.
Come Celebrate with Tony and Oreo ... Stewart will kick off the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series race season by hosting a "Pre-Season Pre-Party" in honor of OREO cookies' 100th birthday celebration. Stewart will host a "cookie-cake" cutting ceremony for media, unveil the OREO 100th birthday paint scheme and lead a group TWIST, LICK AND DUNK with the new Birthday Cake OREO cookie and a glass of milk. The celebration will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. inside the press conference room at DIS.
TONY STEWART QUOTES:
You've won the first race of the Nationwide Series season six times, including the last four. How nice is it to start the year with a win, and how much confidence does it give you going into the Daytona 500?
"The good thing is I'm probably the happiest guy going into the Daytona 500 if we get a win on Saturday. It shows that we can win, and it's just a matter of whether the cards play out for you on Sunday. It's always a bonus when you can win on Saturday before going into the biggest race of the year on Sunday. Getting a Nationwide win there, that's how you like to go to bed the night before the Daytona 500, knowing that you've got that trophy sitting out there on your desk from what you did Saturday afternoon."
This season, you are running the Nationwide Series race with a different car owner - Richard Childress Racing. What kind of difference does that make?
"There's really no difference. In fact, a lot of the guys on the team are the same guys who had worked on my KHI cars that I have run in the past since Kevin and DeLana (Harvick) essentially sold their team to Richard (Childress). So, I already have a comfort level and a relationship with the guys. Ernie (Cope, crew chief) and I have worked together in the past, too, so that's a plus because we already are familiar with each other. As for driving my first race for Richard (Childress), I'm pretty pumped about that. Richard is an icon in our sport and someone I have admired. It's definitely an honor to be on his team at Daytona. When you think of Daytona, I think people automatically think of Richard Childress and Dale Earnhardt. Hopefully, I can add to Richard's list of accomplishments in Daytona."
Speaking of Dale Earnhardt, should you win the race on Saturday, you would tie his record for most wins in the Nationwide Series at Daytona with seven. What would being tied with Earnhardt for the record mean to you?
"That's a pretty cool feeling to know we've closed in on something he's done at Daytona. To me, that was his playground. You just watched him play with the guys here. He was the best at that place. To even be remotely close to him in the record books, in anything at Daytona, is very humbling."
How difficult is it to win one race at Daytona, never mind five in a row?
"Restrictor-plate races at Daytona are always a wild-card race. You never know who's going to win. We were fortunate enough to win one and then back it up the next year. To do it back-to-back-to-back-to-back is something we're really proud of. We've won six out of the last seven here, and none of them have been the same. It's been different cars, different teams and different pavement. There wasn't one of the six in that scenario that have been even remotely been close to the same. To me, that's the part that's ironic. You think, 'Man, the scenario has to double up, eventually.' Six wins here and none of them have been alike. It really shows that you can't predict what's going to happen. It's impossible to even try to do that."
What makes you so successful at Daytona, particularly in the season-opening Nationwide Series race?
"I don't know. I've had a lot of luck there. A lot of it has just been being at the right place at the right time, and making calls that were a little edgy on pit strategy to put ourselves in position at the end. I've had great cars to drive every time there. We've just been one of those guys everybody knows that when we're out there, we're a threat in that division. So, when it comes to the end of it, we've had some pretty good help."
What does it mean to you to represent Oreo, especially with a car celebrating Oreo's 100th birthday?
"It will probably come as no surprise to anyone that I have always been a big Oreo fan. I remember eating Oreo cookies after school as a kid, and I'm proud to represent them as an adult on the racetrack. Since I'm a big kid, I guess you could say we're a pretty good fit for each other because Oreo cookies definitely bring out the kid in everyone. Turning 100 is a pretty big deal, so to honor that with a special racecar, celebrating their birthday, is pretty cool. And, I can't think of a better way to help them celebrate such a big birthday than to get a big win at Daytona on Saturday."