TONY STEWART , NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 2nd Press Conference ON MAINTAINING THE POINT LEAD AND CLOSE FINISH AT THE END: "It's awesome. That's the way a race at Loudon should finish, with three guys in the Chase...
, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 2nd
ON MAINTAINING THE POINT LEAD AND CLOSE FINISH AT THE END:
"It's awesome. That's the way a race at Loudon should finish, with three guys in the Chase running hard at the end like that. We had some damage on the left front and that cost us at the end. It was just tight racing there at the end. We did everything we could do today. I think we ran about as good a race as we could run here. We just came up a little short today."
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF POINTS AS THE SERIES MOVES TO DOVER NEXT WEEKEND:
"It means we're leader this week. You go next week. It's all in the mouth right now. This week is over and we everything we could here and we'll go next week and try to do it again."
DID YOU THINK YOU HAD A CHANCE TO PASS RYAN NEWMAN OR WAS HE JUST TOO STRONG?
"I thought I did pass him toward the end there. You mean the last two laps? Obviously, there was a reason he passed me. He was faster there. If the guy is faster, it's pretty hard to believe you're going to have a chance to get back by him. We tried. There wasn't a lack of effort there. Obviously when a guy goes by you and takes the white flag, it's pretty hard to believe you're going to catch him."
WERE YOU WORRIED ABOUT THE HELMET TOSS BY ROBBY GORDON?
"I'm not commenting on that stupid stuff that happened today. Ask me about my race. If you want to ask me about racing, talk to me about that. If not, don't waste my time today."
WERE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE HELMET HITTING YOUR CAR BECAUSE IT HAPPENED RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU?
"No, I wasn't concerned about the helmet hitting my car. Thanks anyway."
YOU'VE SUCH AN AMAZING YEAR. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT BEING HERE AT LOUDON AND WHAT YOU'VE DONE?
"Well, it's two of our 36 races on the schedule. Luckily, we're going really good here this year and so it makes it fun when you come here, obviously. But it's just week one of a 10-week stretch here right now."
WITH YOUR RECENT SUCCESS AND COLORFUL QUOTES, DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF AS AN AMBASSADOR TO THE SPORT?
"Does it pay extra? It really doesn't matter to me. What matters to me is getting in the race car on Sunday and doing the best I can. I still think Jeff Gordon is the best ambassador for our sport that we've got. I don't think anybody is going to dispute that. He does everything the right way when it comes to dealing with the fans and the sponsors and the sanctioning body. I think that's a great role for him. I've got enough trouble trying to figure out how to win races."
WERE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE CONTACT WITH DALE EARNHARDT JR.?
"I was pretty concerned, obviously. When you go in the corner and you can smell the smoke and see the smoke inside the car you know you've got a fender rub. You just don't know how severe it was. The bad part about it was there was nothing we could do about it at that point. So, we were just kind of stuck with what we had."
DID YOU MAKE YOUR MOVE TOO SOON THERE AT THE END?
"I think you had to make the move whenever you could. I don't think it was about being selective. It was hard enough to get by when I got by. It wasn't like a Daytona or Talladega situation in the old days where the slingshot was in effect and you may have gone too soon. When I got the right opportunity, I went. From there on out, I just was running the car as hard as I could to try to hold him off. It just didn't pay off."