Stewart: “No instruction manual” with Gen-6 cars

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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.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”