Tony Stewart - Loudon 301 Friday Media Visit

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New Hampshire International Speedway

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET, met with media at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and discussed racing a New Hampshire, his season to-date, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and other topics.

YOU JUMPED UP ON THE BOARD LATE IN PRACTICE, DID YOU FIND SOMETHING? “We didn’t switch over to qualifying trim and make our last run until the last 10 minutes. That’s why we didn’t get up on the board any quicker than we did. Think we are solid so far.”

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

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

CAN YOU TELL ANY DIFFERENCE IN THE NEW TIRE SO FAR? “Yes, it is definitely a balance change a little bit. The good thing it seems like the grip is there a little quicker than the old tire. The old tire used to take two or three laps for the tire to come in. The grip seems to be there much quicker with this tire. It doesn’t seem like it chatters quite as bad so I think it is a better tire.”

IS THERE ANY CONCERN ABOUT WEAR? “Not yet, we haven’t run that long. Tomorrow will give you a lot better idea about that. Today is too early, nobody’s running 20-30 lap runs yet. Think we only ran 37 total laps and we never ran more than 10 laps at a time.”

HOW DO YOU ASSESS YOUR SEASON SO FAR? “Same as we did last week and the week before. We’re not where we want to be yet but we are working at it.”

DO YOU FEEL LIKE IT IS COMING TOGETHER NOW? “We are just taking it a week at a time right now. I don’t know. I mean, we are just literally taking everything a week at a time and hoping we get on the right track soon.”

ARE YOU FRUSTRATED? “I am frustrated because I keep having to answer the question. I mean, when you are not happy when things…are you happy when things aren’t going the way you like it to go? Makes you frustrated doesn’t it? So yes, we’re frustrated.”

HAS THE OWNERSHIP THING BEEN ABOUT WHAT YOU EXPECTED? “It hasn’t changed over the last two and a half years. It’s been exactly the same way the first year. It’s the same as it was last year. It’s the same as it’s been this year.”

DO YOU EVER WISH YOU COULD JUST GO BACK TO BEING ONLY A DRIVER? “No, I like what I am doing. I enjoy it still. I don’t know what you want me to say. I’m still just as happy doing it now as I was two years ago as I started doing this as a car owner and a driver. Nothing has changed from that side. Every week is a challenge. Every week is a different obstacle. You work hard to try to accomplish the goal each week. It hasn’t changed.”

YOU HAVE TALKED BEFORE ABOUT FRUSTRATION ABOUT THE SHORT TRACK PERFORMANCE, WITH THIS TRACK, CAN IT HELP YOU WITH SHORT TRACKS LATER ON? “I guess we look at Bristol and Martinsville as the short tracks. We’ve kind of always been good at Loudon here so I’m not sure this is a good gauge of the other three of what they’ll be. We just always seem to be better at this particular track than we are those other three tracks that are smaller.”

IS THERE STUFF YOU CAN LEARN HERE THAT CAN POTENTIALLY HELP YOU WHEN YOU GO BACK TO MARTINSVILLE, RICHMOND AND BRISTOL? “I would love to hope so, but, like I said, I don’t think it pertains. I mean, this place has always kind of just been a good place for us.”

LOOKING FORWARD TO INDY? “I’m looking forward to a weekend off, I’ll be honest. I haven’t even made plans yet. I know what I am doing through Monday then I am open-schedule for the rest of the week so far.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE VERY FIRST TIME YOU WENT DOWN THE FRONT STRAIGHAWAY AT INDY WITH FANS ON BOTH SIDES? “It was pretty cool. It looks really narrow when you go down there the first time because there are not many places you go down a long straightaway like that and have grandstands on both sides of the straightaway. It’s definitely a lot different visual perspective than what you are used to at any of the other tracks we go to.”

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INDY MOMENT? “Winning the Brickyard 400 the first time. Definitely.”

WITH THE WILD CARD TO GET IN THE CHASE, DOES THAT CHANGE YOUR TEAM’S APPROACH AT ALL? “It’s just business as usual for us. Try to get as many points as we can and hope we can get in on our merit of points and not have to rely on the wild card.”

AS A TRACK OWNER, DO YOU HAVE ANY EMPATHY AT ALL FOR THE PEOPLE AT KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY AFTER LAST WEEKEND? “I felt bad for the fans because they are the ones that suffered last weekend. It put a black eye on us.”

By: team chevy

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags chevrolet, loudon, nascar, new hampshire, nscs, sprint cup, stewart-haas, tony stewart