Atlanta: Stewart post race interview

TONY STEWART , NO. 20 HOME DEPOT MONTE CARLO SS, ABOUT YOUR RACE: "We had a good start to the day; starting in 13th I didn't think that we would get to the lead necessarily in the first run but we got I think in the top five or close to there...

TONY STEWART , NO. 20 HOME DEPOT MONTE CARLO SS,

ABOUT YOUR RACE:

"We had a good start to the day; starting in 13th I didn't think that we would get to the lead necessarily in the first run but we got I think in the top five or close to there in the first run. I had a really good car. We had a pit stop where we lost a lug nut off the left rear tire and instead of leaving and having to come in and redo it the guys took the extra time to get it on there which is kind of like golf, it's all about recovery. So we came in I think, fourth, or something and came out 13th so that put us back and we just played catch up all day the rest of the way. You can't start a run that far back and stay up with these guys. We made up a lot of time; the guys rebounded from that stop and had really good pit stops under green there so we made up a lot of track position, got a lot of spots, next thing we know we're back in the top five and we're racing for the win there at the end. A long day but I'm glad that we had a car that was good at the end."

DID YOU GET A CHANCE TO RUN WITH MONTOYA? HE LOOKED PRETTY IMPRESSIVE OUT THERE?

"I'm pretty impressed. To come to Atlanta and be able to run that well here and figure this place out. I didn't figure it out in one try by any means. He did an awesome job. Every track he goes to this year will be a new track for him That shows why he got his opportunity in Formula One, because he's a great talent."

CAN YOU GO INTO DETAIL ON THE CLOSING-LAPS BATTLE WITH JIMMIE JOHNSON?

"Nobody ever likes to hit the wall. That's pretty much a no-brainer. I wish he'd have given me a little more room. I don't think I ever pinched him or kept him from having room on the race track to race. He had a faster car. He's probably going to get around us anyway but I'd like to have seen him give me room to race him for it."

IS IT TIME FOR YOU TO WIN THE FIRST RACE OF THE CAR OF TOMORROW?

"I want to win every race. Next week's not a landmark race for me by any means. I'm treating it just like any other race. It's the same cast of suspects and we're all out there trying to do the same thing. Any time you can win at Bristol it's big. Bristol is one of them every year that I'd like to win. I remember when I won the night race there - I've only won at Bristol one time - it's just a huge feeling when you can accomplish a win there, let alone with the challenges we have next week."

DID YOU EXPECT JIMMIE TO GIVE YOU A LITTLE MORE ROOM AT THE END THERE?

"To be honest whatever I say is probably going to be wrong. I even hate to answer that. We're both racing hard with three laps to go. You don't know if his spotter told him he was clear so he just kept coming. You don't know what the circumstances are with that without talking to him. It is what it is. At the end he's in Victory Lane and we're here talking about finishing second."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup