Stewart Seeks 500 Victory

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Tony Stewart has been successful at Daytona International Speedway in nearly every other event but the Daytona 500, something he hopes to change on Sunday with a victory in "The Great American Race."

“Well, Indy (Indianapolis 500) is the one that frustrates me the most that I haven’t got," Stewart said of his inability to make it to victory lane in NASCAR's biggest race. "The good thing is, I still have opportunities here. I’m not going to have anymore Indy 500 opportunities, that side of it is past so that is why that is frustrating."

Although his Indy dream is most likely gone, Stewart knows he has time left at Daytona and has sniffed a victory in the 500 before.

"This at times has been frustration because we have been so close so many times," he said. "It is like I told somebody earlier, that is what, if we ever do win it, that what’s going to make it so gratifying is because we have worked so hard. We have been so close so many times; to finally accomplish that goal will make it even more special.”

Stewart was nosed out of a win by Kasey Kahne in Thursday's Gatorade Duel but believes he learned a lot in that race, as well as the week's practices, to know what might work in Sunday's 500.

"It seems like if you get your car balanced on the bottom, then if you go to the high side, you're really loose," Stewart said. "It's a matter of where your car is driving good and where the guys that have speed are lined up. If they're lined up on the bottom, it's going to carry more momentum down there. If you've got guys that are kind of line-committed to the top but they've got speed, that's going to push that line forward."

But pinpointing things beyond that are still a little fizzy for Stewart.

"I don't know that you can say exactly where," he said. "When we were leading the race, Kasey was moving around up and down and we kind of just ran the middle because I knew my car at that point drove well enough that I could move down if I needed to or move up if I needed to. The middle is normally a no-zone for us. We don't like to run there too much but it seemed to work yesterday. A lot of it is going to be balance of where you're race car is running good."

After seeing both Stewart and his teammate make the Chase last year in season one of Stewart-Haas Racing,k the expectation level for the team is high for 2010. But Stewart cautions to take things slowly and that begins with Sunday's race, where he knows he'll need drafting help but isn't exactly sure where it will come from.

"Definitely going to be more impromptu," he said. "I’m not sure, I feel like this year more than ever, where at Talladega where it used to be always Dale, Jr. and I would always get together, I don’t think it is really is a scenario where you can even plan that you are even going to get in to those scenarios. Right now, I am just trying to get my car driving good enough by myself, let alone worrying about who I am going to be around."

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