Tony Stewart, No. 20 Home Depot Impala SS, met with members of the media at Martinsville Speedway and discussed his car for Sunday's Subway 500 at Martinsville, the Chase and racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: ON HOW CAR IS HANDLING AFTER...
Tony Stewart, No. 20 Home Depot Impala SS, met with members of the media at Martinsville Speedway and discussed his car for Sunday's Subway 500 at Martinsville, the Chase and racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
ON HOW CAR IS HANDLING AFTER SATURDAY MORNING PRACTICE: "We aren't happy with the handling, if we could put our finger on it, we would fix it. We will just keep working on it."
ON CONFIDENCE THEY WILL BE ABLE TO IMPROVE CAR IN FINAL PRACTICE TODAY: "All we can do is try. The good thing is we have truck qualifying, which gives us a little longer break between practices sessions than normal to try and go through ideas. If it is going to be big changes we are going to have to make, it gives us time to think about it longer before we have to make those changes in the car because of the longer breaks between sessions. I don't know man."
ON PAST SETUPS NOT BEING AS EFFECTIVE AS THOSE USED PREVIOUSLY WERE: "The car is a different car than what we have run here in the past. That's the problem, we aren't much different than we were here in the spring, that's where we need to be better."
ON EXPECTATIONS OF ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY TEST WITH IMPALA SS NEW GENERATION RACE CAR: "I don't really expect anything, it's more of a wait and see. I don't know what to expect because I haven't done any of the testing with it other than on short track stuff. I think it is more of a wake up Monday morning with an open mind and go out, start slow and make sure you know what you have got before you get into it too hard. "
ON IF NEW GENERATION CAR HAS PRODUCED THE BETTER RACING IT WAS DESIGNED FOR: "I don't think it has really been much different honestly. I guess I am kinda like you guys (media), I really haven't seen much difference behind the steering wheel as far as the competition level. The guys that get them right go fast and lead laps. Guys that haven't quite got it figured out are the same group of guys that hadn't figured out the old cars either, and they run mid-pack and struggle. Hasn't really been a big shocker, I don't think yet."
ON IF ONE OF CHASE DRIVERS WOULD BE FAVORED OR EXPECTED TO WIN AT MARTINSVILLE: "I guess when you look at it from your (media member asking question) standpoint, probably. It would seem so."
ON A PETTY ENTERPRISE CAR WINNING AT MARTINSVILLE, THE LOCATION OF LAST NNCS WIN IN 1999 WITH DRIVER JOHN ANDRETTI: "I think it would be cool to see him (Andretti) win it again. But, it doesn't matter who is driving the car, Richard Petty's popularity and legacy in our sport, to see him (Petty Enterprises) go this long without a win is disappointing from a competition standpoint. But it shows how the sport has changed and how the level of competition has gone up. You just hope at the end of the day, the smaller teams like that will still go out there and pull off a win like they used to do. I have a lot of respect for the Petty family and it would be neat to see Kyle win in a Petty Enterprises car."
ON IF HE IS LOOKS FORWARD TO TRACKS LIKE ATLANTA BECAUSE IT IS SUCH A FAST FACE TRACK: "This is the slowest tracks and I am looking forward just as much for tomorrow and I am Atlanta."
ON IF THIS IS A MAKE OR BREAK WEEKEND TO GET BACK IN THE THICK OF THE CHASE: "No, anything can happen to any of the teams. At this point, who knows? Until somebody comes up and says ok, mathematically you are out of it, until then, we have got a shot. That is all I can say about it. That is all we know. There is no imprint that says, this is how you win or don't win a championship, so as long as mathematically you still have a chance, you are still in it. Until they tell you that you can't physically or mathematically catch up, then you are still in it, you still have a shot."
ON IF ATLANTA HOLDS ANY ADDITIONAL CHALLENGES OR PERILS FOR CHASE DRIVERS: "I don't think there is anything. Shoot, we have been racing there for how many years now and guys have been building motors for that track for how many years? Whatever happens, anything can happen at whatever race track. You look at Charlotte, how many weird things happen there. How many weird things happen every week to somebody. Something weird happens to somebody every week, I don't think it is because of where you go; it is just the sport of racing. Weird things happen. Nobody can say why they happen or why they happen more at some tracks more than others. Stuff just happens, that is why it is racing."
ON DIFFERENCE OF ATLANTA COMPARED TO OTHER ONE AND ONE-HALF MILE TRACKS: "Well, you move around a lot more. The surface I think gets more abrasive, The neat thing is that the times fall off so guys move around on the race track more. Everybody starts at the bottom and the fast guys normally end up right around the wall midway through a run. That is something that is different than Charlotte. Fast guys ran at the top and at the bottom at Charlotte. Other than that, it is shaped exactly like the other ones are."
ON WHAT HAPPENS TO THE TRACK IF IT IS HOTTER DOWN IN ATLANTA NEXT WEEKEND THAN IT WAS IN THE SPRING: "It slows everybody down a little. But it is the same for everybody. "
ON LIKING TO HAVE FLEXIBILITY TO RUN WHEREEVER HE NEEDS TO ON THE TRACK: "I like having the flexibility to be able to move around. To know that if my car isn't driving good in a particular spot that I have the flexibility as a driver to move around on the race track. You can make a difference. Like Michigan where you can move around and help yourself as a driver versus being committed and whatever you have got, you got. It does make you feel better as a driver to know you have that flexibility."
-credit: gm racing