Phoenix: 2nd finisher press conference

Subway Fresh Fit 500 Post-Race Transcript An Interview With: TONY STEWART - 2nd THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by second place finisher of the race, driver of the No. 14 Old Spice Office Depot Chevrolet. Tell us about your run. TONY ...

Subway Fresh Fit 500 Post-Race Transcript

An Interview With:
TONY STEWART - 2nd

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by second place finisher of the race, driver of the No. 14 Old Spice Office Depot Chevrolet. Tell us about your run.

TONY STEWART: Happy with it. Only way you could be happier is if you beat Mark Martin. Really proud of our organization, really proud of Darius Grubb and Jeff and all of our guys on our Old Spice Office Depot team.

I'm telling you, the last three weeks have just been amazing. I mean, it's been so much fun: We've been in contention; we have led laps; we are doing everything right. It's just a matter of time. We are consistent now and that's what you've got to be. We are just clicking them off one at a time here. We are just a tick off but there's no shame in losing to a guy like Mark Martin tonight.

I don't think there's anybody that's not a Mark Martin fan. It was an awesome night for our organization and awesome night for Mark. Nobody, just like Kurt said, nobody works harder to stay in shape to be good and be fit and to be ready to go than Mark does. And when you see somebody that works that hard at it, you like to see the results come for him, too.

Q: How did the track change from day tonight and how did you adjust with your car on that?

TONY STEWART: Didn't seem like it changed a lot to us. We kept fighting for it all night and just were really loose back to the gas up off to the corner. That's where Mark was just a little better than us that second to last run when he ran us down at the end. He could get in the gas and stay in it and get a big drive off the corner.

Just seemed like what we fought, we fought all night and it didn't really change for us. As it got a little bit cooler it got more grip but that's Phoenix. That's what it always does and that's what makes this place so fun. It's not freshly paved. It's not locked down. You've got to drive the cars here. Nobody's cars drive perfect here, you get one end of the track right and the other end suffers, whether it's tight or loose, and so you have to constantly adjust as a driver and that's what makes this place so much fun for us.

Q: You have the weight on your shoulders now; how satisfying is it to have such a nice year so far?

TONY STEWART: I mean, the guys that do this every week can probably tell you better than me. This is the best spring or the first ten races that I've ever had in my career so far I think.

It's made it a lot easier. Doesn't feel like such a heavy weight when it's going well like this. I don't think any of us would have predicted we would be in the Top 5 in points. To have the runs like we have had the last three weeks, it definitely makes that a lot smaller and lighter weight on your shoulder than it would be if you were struggling.

I think for us, it's been refreshing just when you've never had a start like this to the season, it's nice to finally have one; after ten years of this, it's amazing to think that with a new team we can go out and have this kind of a start to the year.

Q: I saw you, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Burton, all in victory lane congratulating Mark. What does that say about Mark and how the drivers feel about him?

TONY STEWART: Tells you how much respect we all have for him. There's nobody that dislikes Mark, and Mark was responsible for so many of us learning what it took to be a Sprint Cup driver and to be that caliber of a driver.

When you came up in the Nationwide Series and ran with him when he just dominated, he taught you a lot while you were running those races. And when you had a good day against Mark and when you did things right and you watched him and learned from him, that just accelerated the learning curve to get you ready for the Sprint Cup Series.

Mark has taught us all a lot about what it takes to be not only a good driver in this series but a good competitor and somebody that everybody respects.

THE MODERATOR: Tony, congratulations.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Matt Kenseth , Jimmie Johnson , Mark Martin