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Tony Stewart wants Cup Series to race on Watkins Glen’s boot

Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:48 pm

Tony Stewart wants Cup Series to race on Watkins Glen’s boot

Posted: 14 Jun 2011 05:48 PM PDT

By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.—Before Tuesday’s ride swap with Lewis Hamilton, there was a section of the Watkins Glen International road course Stewart had never seen, the .95-mile boot-shaped section called—you guessed it—the “boot.”

After racing on it in both a Sprint Cup and a Formula One car, Stewart would like to see NASCAR incorporate the boot into its August Cup race here.

“I enjoyed the long course,” Stewart said. “I’d never been around it till today. I told (NASCAR executive and pace car driver) Brett Bodine when we got out of the car after our setup runs that I would like the opportunity to see us having a shot at running the long course.

“I think it would create more passing opportunities, for sure, and it’s just such a historic racetrack, and there are some really cool corners down there that we don’t get a shot to run on a Cup weekend.”

Five-time defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson said much the same thing after running a Grand-Am race at the Glen last year. Armed with the endorsements of Stewart and Johnson, WGI president Michael Printup plans to lobby NASCAR president Mike Helton, vice president of competition Robin Pemberton and senior vice president of racing operations Steve O’Donnell about running the full course.

“By tomorrow morning, I’ll have a message in to Mr. Helton and Mr. Pemberton and Mr. O’Donnell,” Printup said. “I’ve asked them over and over again, and I think this was just the real live testimonial that it can happen.

“Our races are becoming shorter now (in duration), because we’ve paved all the gravel traps, and we’ve taken out a lot of the mishaps and (loss) of track time. Now we just have to pave (Turn) 8, which is down in the heel of the boot, and I think we could have some great racing.”

The tradeoff would be a reduction in the number of laps on a longer course.

“Like Tony and I were talking after the event (Tuesday), it’s just going to give us a lot more opportunity to pass,” Printup said. “I think that would make it more exciting for the fans, and it opens up another major section where fans love to view racing.

“I’m going to cross my fingers and work on NASCAR next.”

Re: Tony Stewart wants Cup Series to race on Watkins Glen’s

Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:52 am

Why not? I think it would add much interest

Re: Tony Stewart wants Cup Series to race on Watkins Glen’s

Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:52 am

After seeing the long course, I would agree. They can at least try it once or twice. If for some reason it doesn't work out, they can always go back next race.

Re: Tony Stewart wants Cup Series to race on Watkins Glen’s

Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:36 am

great idea go for it

Re: Tony Stewart wants Cup Series to race on Watkins Glen’s

Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:38 am

Since Watkins Glen is my favorite track to watch a race I hope they do include the boot. I like road races as one doesn't get bored out of their minds watching left turns all the time.

Re: Tony Stewart wants Cup Series to race on Watkins Glen’s

Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:12 pm

Okay, road course fans, please answer a question for me.

I've never been to a road course, but I always thought I wouldn't be able to see enough of the track to satisfy me. How do you keep track of your favorite car?

Re: Tony Stewart wants Cup Series to race on Watkins Glen’s

Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:37 pm

ok i need to ask this, he threw a fit at pocono cuz his tranny went boom and blamed nascar cuz they hadda shift, now he wants to open a section where more shifting is involved, i never understand a drivers logic, btw im not attacking tony, just dont get it...................

Re: Tony Stewart wants Cup Series to race on Watkins Glen’s

Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:46 am

Don't they use different transmissions on a road course than on an oval? Seriously, I don't know.

Re: Tony Stewart wants Cup Series to race on Watkins Glen’s

Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:08 am

michaeljohn wrote:ok i need to ask this, he threw a fit at pocono cuz his tranny went boom and blamed nascar cuz they hadda shift, now he wants to open a section where more shifting is involved, i never understand a drivers logic, btw im not attacking tony, just dont get it...................


...like HH's question below, they DO use different "beefed up" transmissions on road courses. Don't think it was Tony's fault since he and Ryan lost the EXACT same gear at relatively the same time...and since Smoke's the "Road Course King". ;)

The rest was just frustration, he'd just passed JJ for 5th when the gear went...and so went ANOTHER top 5 finish. He was just poppin' off...can't say that I blame him, I turned it off as soon as he radioed in. :|

Re: Tony Stewart wants Cup Series to race on Watkins Glen’s

Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:45 am

smoke14rulez wrote:
michaeljohn wrote:ok i need to ask this, he threw a fit at pocono cuz his tranny went boom and blamed nascar cuz they hadda shift, now he wants to open a section where more shifting is involved, i never understand a drivers logic, btw im not attacking tony, just dont get it...................


...like HH's question below, they DO use different "beefed up" transmissions on road courses. Don't think it was Tony's fault since he and Ryan lost the EXACT same gear at relatively the same time...and since Smoke's the "Road Course King". ;)

The rest was just frustration, he'd just passed JJ for 5th when the gear went...and so went ANOTHER top 5 finish. He was just poppin' off...can't say that I blame him, I turned it off as soon as he radioed in. :|

Thanks for the answer to my question... I thought the transmissions were different, but wasn't sure.

What I was getting at, is maybe the teams will have to re-think which transmissions they run at Pocono from now on.

Re: Tony Stewart wants Cup Series to race on Watkins Glen’s

Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:49 pm

What? No love for Infineon? LOL Let's open it up too! :-)

And yes, NascarNana, it is very difficult to keep an eye on your driver at all times (impossible actually) on a road course, when you're in the stands. I just kept an eye on the leaderboard at the track...and an ear open for the announcer.

Re: Tony Stewart wants Cup Series to race on Watkins Glen’s

Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:16 pm

Thanks, S14.

And guessing they have different transmissions when they go back to Pocono.

Re: Tony Stewart wants Cup Series to race on Watkins Glen’s

Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:39 pm

infineon is my fav course

Re: Tony Stewart wants Cup Series to race on Watkins Glen’s

Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:21 pm

I dont think it is so much the tranny, but the gear ratios. Pocono they basically were using 3 gears & an over drive (which would put more stress on 3rd gear) basically using 3rd gear as they normally would a 4th gear.

Road courses the gear ratios are used as 4 gears (no overdrive)

Pocono 3rd & 4th gear had to be so close to each other, which would put more stress on 3rd than any other track they go too. Tranny wasnt the problem the gear was. They will either expand the difference between 3rd & 4th, to take some stress from 3rd or the teams will be less aggressive on 3rd (sacrificing speed) or just not shift til late in the race. (Like Gordon claimed he did)
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