Tony Stewart’s victory last season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway may give him confidence as he prepares to defend his Kobalt Tools 400 title tomorrow – but beyond that, it’s hard to say.
The debut of the new Generation-6 cars has forced teams to throw all their old notebooks out the window and re-learn everything. This weekend at Vegas marks the first time the Gen-6 will be on a 1.5-mile oval, which serve as the setting for almost a third of the 36 Cup races.
And with no past data to fall back on, Stewart and the rest of the Cup garage can’t escape the tricky process of trying to find the new car’s sweet spot.
“The one thing you guys have got to understand when we all built these new cars, not one of them came with an instructional manual,” Stewart told the media at LVMS on Friday. “You literally have to figure it out as you go.
“It’s impossible to give you an answer — an accurate answer. It is literally a work in progress.”
Stewart took part in a Thursday test session at LVMS to try and gain knowledge that could make that process go quicker for him and his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing team. He believes that it’ll all be worth it in the end, saying that the Gen-6 has plenty of upside.
“I personally think it’s off to a great start, and it’s got a lot of potential,” said the three-time Cup champion. “We had good racing, we had a good finish, and everybody is going to keep learning.”
Stewart will start ninth on Sunday.