TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BURGER KING IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed racing at Dover, Chase format, practical jokes, visiting Walter Reed Army Hospital and other topics. TALK ABOUT HAVING A...
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BURGER KING IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed racing at Dover, Chase format, practical jokes, visiting Walter Reed Army Hospital and other topics.
TALK ABOUT HAVING A BETTER WEEKEND HERE AT DOVER THAN LAST WEEK: "Yes, definitely. We definitely didn't have the run we wanted last weekend for sure. But, felt like the team rebounded well from it and we salvaged a decent finish but not a great finish last week so definitely ready to move on."
TALK ABOUT GAME PLAN FOR DOVER: "We're still just trying to figure out how to make the car land in the corner. That seems to be the biggest thing we have been struggling with all day in both race trim and qualifying trim. That is what they are working on right now. We have an early draw (for qualifying). I think we go out sixth today. We kind of have a short amount of time to get ready for qualifying. But, it will give us some more time after we make our run to get ready for tomorrow."
DO YOU THINK NASCAR NEEDS TO REWARD THE GUY WHO IS MOST CONSISTENT IN FIRST 26 RACES AT THE START OF THE CHASE? WHAT IS IT LIKE TO LOSE THE POINTS LEAD AND THE POINTS AT THE START OF THE CHASE? "We know we are going to lose them. I am curious, what is your opinion on what they should do."
I PERSONALLY THINK THE REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONS SHOULD BE REWARDED WITH 50 POINTS OR SOMETHING, I WAS JUST WONDERING NOW THAT YOU ARE IN THIS POSITION IF YOU FEEL LIKE THERE MAYBE NEEDS TO BE SOMETHING DIFFERENT-I DON'T KNOW: "I don't think so. Everybody knows what the system is going in to it. I don't know why everybody tries to reinvent the wheel now, especially you of all people. You aren't smart enough to do that. The system is a simple system. It is easy to understand, it doesn't need to be complicated by trying to throw more numbers in there to confuse the fans. It is a good system the way it is. It is not a frustrating position...I don't care if I was leading by a thousand points, it's not frustrating to lose those points. You know going in to the season, when you get to the Chase that we are all going to have the same amount of points plus whatever race wins we have. We are going to get 10 extra bonus points for those. It's easy to understand. Everybody knows it going in to it. There is no frustration because you know that going in to it. Don't try to make this something...don't try to make controversy out of this that doesn't need to be there. It's a fair system. It is a system we all understand. We all know and we all know what it is going in to it and nobody has complained about it."
ARE YOU A PRACTICAL JOKER TO BREAK THE TENSION? WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR BEST: "I'm not giving away any of my trade secrets. (CHUCKLES). But, yes, I think if you go through the garage and ask if I have been known to play practical jokes on people, I think you are going to get a pretty unanimous yes. That is something that you have to. What we do here every weekend for three days is a stressful situation. There are 43 of us trying to win the race knowing that only one of us is going to do it. You have to make it fun and lighten up while we are doing it so that is why we do that."
ANY OUTSTANDING ONE YOU PULLED I CAN PUT IN THE PAPER THAT WON'T GET BOTH OF US IN TROUBLE? "Not really that comes to mind right off hand. To be honest, I have some other things on my mind right now."
HOW ARE YOU AND RYAN WORKING TOGETHER TO IMPROVE BOTH CARS PERFORMANCE? "We look at what each other does all the time. He always knows what we're doing. We always know what he is doing. Sometimes we are on different packages but at least we know what each other has and why we are going that direction. It doesn't mean that just because he is going better that what he is doing is going to work for us. Sometimes we are on different programs and sometimes we're better and he is on a different program. But, just having the knowledge of what package each other has is a benefit."
DID IT EVER ENTER YOUR MIND AT LOUDON THERE COULD BE A PENALTY WHEN YOU AND GREG BIFFLE ENDED UP GOING SIDE-BY-SIDE GOING DOWN PIT ROAD AT LOUDON? "Yes, there was but I had already committed myself to pit road and all of a sudden, he came in late and we were side-by-side. We got it sorted out by the time we got there so I think that probably weighed in to NASCAR's mind as far as realizing we sorted it out and got it straight versus creating a bad situation."
WAS THE INCIDENT WITH AXLE CAP SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED ON RACE DAY OR WAS IT SOMETHING FROM BEFORE THE CAR GOT TO THE TRACK? "We diagnosed it at the shop. We know what happened. It is something we have addressed and are going to make sure doesn't happen again."
TALK ABOUT GOING TO WALTER REED HOSPITAL AND VISIT THE WOUNDED SOLDIERS AND HOW COOL IT WAS TO GO THERE: "Yes, it was. It's a bad situation to have to visit them there because you realize that they are there for serious injuries. That is some of the strongest group of people I have ever met and it is like I said yesterday, if everybody in the Nation could spend 30 minutes with one of those soldiers, whether they like the war or dislike the war, agreed with or disagreed with, whatever the case, they would at least be supportive of the soldiers that are in this war. Maybe it would change at least some of the things they say about it. These guys are THE strongest group of people I have ever met in my life. All they want to do is get back to their troops and that is what they are focused on is getting healthy and getting back over there."
IS THERE ONE KEY THING THAT STANDS OUT IN YOUR MIND FOR THE SUCCESS YOU AND RYAN HAVE HAD THIS YEAR? "Just good people. I mean Bobby Hutchens, Darian Grubb, Tony Gibson and Ryan Newman. That is a group of people right there that help make it successful. The key to success no matter what you are doing, it doesn't matter what aspect of your life, what aspect of your personal life being surrounded by good people is definitely the key."
IT WAS REPORTED THAT DANICA PATRICK SIGNED A THREE-YEAR DEAL WITH IRL, HAVE YOU TALKED TO HER ABOUT IF SHE IS STILL TRYING TO PUT TOGETHER SOMETHING PART TIME IN NATIONWIDE OR TRUCK? "I haven't spoken to her since she has done that."
-credit: gm racing