Stewart - Michigan Friday media visit

Team Chevy

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Michigan International Speedway and discussed his run at Watkins Glen last week, what it takes to be successful when coming into NASCAR, running at Bristol and much more.

Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Ted Rossino

CAN YOU ADDRESS THE DANICA SITUATION? “It’s like I’ve always said when we have something to tell everybody we’ll tell them but there’s nothing to tell yet. I know there’s a lot of speculation but there is nothing to really talk about yet.”

I’VE HEARD FROM MANY SOURCES. “I don’t care about your sources. When we have something to talk about we’ll talk about it. I promise we won’t leave any of you guys out I promise.”

DO YOU THINK IT WILL BE SOON? “What will be soon? I don’t know. I don’t know. If we knew that we’d already be talking about it wouldn’t we. When we have something to talk about I promise you I will not let any of you be late for the deal.”

YOU’RE STILL OBVIOUSLY LOOKING TO ADD A THIRD TEAM. “We’ve said that from day one. We’ve never wavered from that, never said anything different from that. We’re definitely to a third team and want to be a four-car team eventually.”

LAST WEEK YOU WERE RUNNING SOMEWHERE IN THE TOP-10 WHEN THE ISSUE WENT DOWN LATE IN THE RACE, HOW MUCH DOES THAT HURT GIVEN WHERE YOU STAND? “It’s a pretty big blow but its self-inflicted and I put myself in a bad position around a couple of guys that I know in that scenario are not going to be worried about anything but themselves. So it was my fault. I put myself in a bad spot. It’s my job the next four weeks to help get myself out of it.”

HOW COMPETITIVE DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU GUYS WILL BE OVER THE NEXT MONTH? “I hope good. I mean we’ve had potential we just are losing some consistency again. There’s days we’ve got a great race car and there’s days we’re off a little bit. So we’ve got to figure out how to be more consistent first then worry about getting better.”

HOW WAS YOUR PRACTICE OUT HERE TODAY? “I think we’re okay. I don’t think we’re setting the world on fire. We’re definitely not the fastest car. We’re not the fastest car in qualifying trip either but it feels like it’s got better balance than when we were here in the spring. Hopefully we’re not going to fight the same issues we had in the first race here this year.”

HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS FOR A NEW DRIVER IN NASCAR? “I think the hardest thing is it’s more what you put on yourself not what somebody else tells you is success. Just getting here is a hard enough step so learning the ins and outs of it. Learning how to do things right and just your progress each week. I think what you feel like you’ve taken away from each race at the end of the day no matter what the result is determines the success that your having but it’s not always measured by what you see in the finishing standings or the qualifying standings or where you’re at on the race track during the race. I think a lot of it is just the knowledge that you’re gaining. If you feel like you’re making progress then you are even though the result may not show it.”

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT BRISTOL AT NIGHT? “The same thing as the day. I just love the night race there. To me it’s one of the coolest races of the year but you can’t have anything go wrong. You have to have a perfect race car if something goes wrong to be able to have a shot to get back. If you don’t have a perfect race car it’s a lot of times impossible to get caught back up. So you’ve got to have a problem-free day but you’re going to have to have a good race car. There’s a bunch of guys that are really good there now and you can’t be a little bit off and have a good day, you’ve got to be on your game.”

IS THERE SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT JUST RUNNING UNDER THE LIGHTS THERE? “It’s the atmosphere. When the cars hit the ground you can see the sparks there. Bristol has always had that cool atmosphere because of how short it is and the way the grandstands there are and then you do it at night on top of that, it’s just got a cool feel to it.”

EVERY TIME WE GO BACK THERE IT SEEMS THE RECONFIGURATION, EVERYBODY WANTS TO KNOW IS THE OLD WAY BETTER, JUNIOR SAID HE THINKS THE TRACK IS AS GOOD AS IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN BUT THE COT CHANGED THE RACING THERE, WHAT DO YOU THINK? “The track for sure from day one has been better. You didn’t have to just run behind guys and wreck guys to pass them. You could use the whole race track now. As a driver, especially on a track that size, that’s what you look for. That’s all you can ask for is to have a place that you can move around. I don’t know that the COT has really changed it any different. He’s probably got a valid point. I guess I just don’t think about it. The big thing is just making sure you’ve got a car that you can move around the race track and if you can do that you’re probably setting yourself up for a good opportunity to have a good day because you’ve got to be able to move and switch lanes and run different grooves instead of just running around the bottom all day.”

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags brooklyn, chevrolet, haas, stewart