Tony Stewart, No. 20 Home Depot Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media at Homestead-Miami Speedway and discussed: on the end of the season; on the last race for the old car; on leaving Chevrolet; on differences in eras and champions in Cup;...
Tony Stewart, No. 20 Home Depot Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media at Homestead-Miami Speedway and discussed: on the end of the season; on the last race for the old car; on leaving Chevrolet; on differences in eras and champions in Cup; Ricky Rudd retiring; on points racing; on what it is like when you are on a run of success like the NO. 48 team is right now: on relationship with Greg Zipadelli; on if Kansas was turning point in the Chase; on Jimmie winning 10 races; on next season; on success of entire Hendrick organization and on his own racing enterprise responsibilities in off season.
ON BEING READY FOR THE SEASON TO BE OVER: "I think everybody is. It has been a long year for everybody. We obviously not in the position we want to be in this time of year. The only way to get to the next chapter it to start the next chapter. You do that by ending this year and starting next year.
"It has just been weird to me. The bad luck we have had, that is the thing. I have never seen us have some of the stupid things that have happened this year. Some of them have been self-inflicted. I have been busted for speeding on pit lane twice this year, that is something, I mean; I have sped twice in eight years. I made the mistake. It was just little things here and they're things that just weren't things this team is accustomed to."
ON HOW STRANGE IT FEELS TO LEAVE HIS AFFILIATION WITH CHEVROLET: "Yes, that is bittersweet. I have had a great relationship with them obviously. Last week we won the national sprint car championship with them. It is exciting on that side and then a week later we are running our last Cup race with them."
ON DIFFERENCES IN ERAS OF DRIVERS AND CHAMPIONS: "How you race for 36-weeks is different than how you race for a 26-week stretch and then a 10-week stretch. It is different. It is comparing apples to oranges. You still take the same gratification both ways in knowing that what ever the format was, we were able to conquer it and beat it."
ON RELATIONSHIP WITH CREW CHIEF GREG ZIPADELLI: "I just think it is a common passion and desire to win races. Our relationship is like a family relationship. He is like a big brother and I am like the little punk brother. It has made up get along. He has been more than just my crew chief. He has been my big brother and one of my best friends. That is what it has to be. In this world where it is so competitive, if you don't have that kind of relationship, that is why you see guys making changes every three or four years and it is easier for them to make those changes. It would be very hard for Zippy and I to do this without each other."
ON IF HE WAS SURPRISED HOW QUICKLY IN THE CHASE, THE GAP OF LEAD DRIVERS WAS SETUP: "No, it doesn't take much, that is the thing. It takes so little to build that gap and for it to stay that way. It didn't really surprise me in all honestly."
-credit: gm racing