Michigan: Tony Stewart post race interview

TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT MONTE CARLO SS, FINISHED THIRD: ON YOUR RACE: "I'm extremely excited about it. Normally I wouldn't be this excited for a third but with what happened yesterday and with the way I qualified on Friday it was...

TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT MONTE CARLO SS, FINISHED THIRD:

ON YOUR RACE:

"I'm extremely excited about it. Normally I wouldn't be this excited for a third but with what happened yesterday and with the way I qualified on Friday it was two strikes against us starting the race. We were so far back, we were supposed to start 41st and I just made sure that A.J. Allmendinger got around me at the start to make sure that I went across the start/finish line 43rd. So wherever we ended up I could say that I went from dead last to wherever. From 43rd to third is a pretty good day, I think, in 400 miles."

HOW WAS YOUR CAR AT THE START OF THE RACE?

"It's hard to say. It was really, really tight. I don't know if it was because we were behind 42 other cars or if it was just as tight as it seemed like it was. It never got as good as it was yesterday. I'm sure if we go to the wind tunnel I'm sure it lost some front downforce with the thrash that we had to make yesterday. All things considered, I think to take a car and start 43rd and end up third with it, it had to drive fairly decent and if it was off, it wasn't off to much because there's no way that at this level you can do what we did today without a car that's right."

WAS IT AS CRAZY ON THE TRACK AS IT LOOKED ON TV?

"Yeah, it pretty much was. It's not the same group of drivers as it was five or 10 years ago, that's for sure. You definitely have to pay attention. There's a lot more guys that you really have to watch and look out for all day."

DOES IT BOTHER YOU THAT YOU HAVEN'T WON YET THIS YEAR?

"No, because you don't have to win right now. It's nice to win right now; it's nice to get those extra 10 points for the Chase. The important thing is just being consistent right now, I would say, more than winning a race here and there. Those extra bonus points might get you to lead at the beginning of the Chase but you're going to have to be consistent those last 10 weeks. And especially with the hole that we dug ourselves - that I did on Friday and the No. 38 car helped us with yesterday - that put us two strikes down starting the race today and starting from the back. You can look at it and say 'ah, we didn't win today' or you can say 'man, we crossed the start/finish line 43rd and we took the green and we drove past 40 cars and ended up with a top-three finish at the end of it. After putting a whole right-front fender and everything on it so I choose to look at the positive side and say 'hey, we rebounded and we overcame a lot of adversity this weekend and came home third.'"

HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT FOR YOU TO BE WORKING LATE YESTERDAY WITH YOUR TEAM?

"Times when they've had to do that before, I've not stayed necessarily. But I didn't have any plans yesterday and I was just in one of those modes where the guys weren't down about it and I wasn't going to let them get down about it. I stayed for a little bit and it ended up that I stayed for the whole thing. The end result was that the guys did appreciate that and that wasn't the difference between 23rd or third today but just to show those guys once in a while and reassure them that you care as much as they do about it I think is probably a big thing."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR-CUP