Pocono Raceway August 1, 2010 An interview with: TONY STEWART - 2nd place finisher CARL EDWARDS - 3rd place finisher KERRY THARP: Let's roll into our post race for the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. Our race runner-up, Tony Stewart. He...
August 1, 2010
An interview with:
TONY STEWART - 2nd place finisher
CARL EDWARDS - 3rd place finisher
KERRY THARP: Let's roll into our post race for the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. Our race runner-up, Tony Stewart. He drives the No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet for Stewart Haas Racing.
Tony, take us through the afternoon. Quite a race out there Again, another strong performance for the No. 14 team.
TONY STEWART: Yeah, definitely happy with the outcome, for sure. We didn't get the best of starts. We were tight at the beginning of the race. Really proud of Darian Grubb, made great calls all day, kept making my car better. Last half of the race started working our way back forward.
We had a good car. Just was a matter of figuring out what the pit strategy was going to be at the end. It always comes down to strategy of fuel or weather, it seems like here, which isn't exactly the way you want to have to run a race. It's part of it and it's made for some exciting finishes because of that.
I thought we were going to be in bad shape when we had to come in for the four there at the end. But our guys did a great job of getting us out first car on four tires out of the pits, and that got us the opportunity to get by some of the guys that took two tires or no tires there at the beginning of the run. From there, we were able just to race hard with Carl and the 77 car and Harvick.
It was a fun day.
KERRY THARP: We'll take questions for Tony.
Q: The part of the track over here in turn three where Elliott Sadler and those guys hit, what is your view of that part of the racetrack? What do they need to do? From your standpoint, what do you see over there and what should be done?
TONY STEWART: I'll be honest, I haven't even looked that far off the racetrack. Obviously when we got going again after the red, we could see they were still working on that area. I don't know what the problem was with it. Obviously, without knowing the problem, I don't know the solution either.
I don't think it's a big drama or anything.
KERRY THARP: Joining us also is our third-place finisher in today's race. He's Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford for Roush Fenway Racing.
Carl, another strong performance for the 99 team. Tell us about it.
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, it's a few weeks in a row we've run really well. That's what we needed. It's cool to see a Ford in Victory Lane, especially with everything that happened this week. I spoke with Jack this morning. I think he kind of put out the message he wanted to talk to all of us before we got in the racecars. It's pretty cool to say the least to have a race win for him and two cars in the top three.
I feel like we're building a little bit of momentum towards the Chase. That's what we need. We haven't run the way we've run the last month for a long time. It's a good day for us.
KERRY THARP: We'll open it up for questions.
Q: How would you assess this particular track? Do you feel a feel for what went on with the hard hit that Elliott took? Did you see it?
CARL EDWARDS: I didn't see the hit. I don't know what happened. From my standpoint, this is a fine racetrack. I feel safe driving on it. But I didn't see that hit.
Q: Carl, how would you describe Jack's mood, spirits?
CARL EDWARDS: He was Jack. He was just, Don't mess anything up, don't wreck. Hope I don't break any parts for you. I'll see you soon.
Just he's excited for the race today. I could hear it in his voice. He's been through a lot this last week. He needed that race today, he really needed that victory. That's pretty cool. I'm sure he is very hard to handle for all those nurses right now in that hospital (smiling).
Q: Tony, when you were running third and Hornish had fresher tires at that point, did you have a feel that if you could have gotten by him, you would have had something for Greg?
TONY STEWART: I don't think so, to be honest. You know, Carl and I both struggled to get around Sam and Sam ran a good race. He ran good here last time here. You know, there wasn't a defined spot on the track where I don't think -- I think Carl was better than him in one and I was a little better than him through the tunnel. Neither spot led either one of us to have one clear-cut spot where we were going to have a really good opportunity. We just had to force him into a mistake. That's what we did. We finally pressured him hard enough in three that he finally got loose. What he did, he couldn't get it back.
Q: Carl, with 80 to go, the Fords, you were the highest Ford in 10th place. You looked like you were shot out of a cannon in the last section of the race. Did you make one big adjustment? Did you just not have the track position?
CARL EDWARDS: That is a good question. It felt like it was kind of a lottery. One of them, all of a sudden, I'm like, there's two guys in front of me, there must be more out there. I'm running third for a second. I couldn't believe how much ground I made up on one of the restarts. One of the them I went back to 15th or 16th.
It really depends here, the restarts, really depends on how everything shuffles out, the lane you pick, how you draft with everyone.
There was no big adjustments. Just got lucky on that last one.
Q: Tony, this time last year you were leading the points. Now you have a lot of momentum. Comparing your situation to last year in some ways do you feel like you're in a better spot? Seems like this time last year you started to lose your way a little bit. Could you compare the two situations a bit.
TONY STEWART: If it keeps building then, yes, I like the situation better. But I don't know what next week's gonna bring or the week after. It's nice to have a little momentum. I know we won the spring race, we came back the second time we were terrible.
Today is definitely good. We finished good at Indy there. We've had some strong runs here recently. I'm hoping that trend is going to keep going. If it does, I'd much rather be in this situation than leading the points when it doesn't get you anything.
Q: Obviously today's race was a really long event, start and stop. In the car, how do you keep your focus once you do stop, get ready to gear up to go back out there and go racing again, how to you do that?
CARL EDWARDS: That's a good question. The hard part is wondering if you're going to go racing or not. I think we've all done this long enough that you just -- you don't want to let those thoughts creep in. You focus, imagine you're going to run the thing to the end no matter what, keep your eyes on what's important.
But we're in the same boat as you guys. We really don't know what's going on. At least I didn't.
TONY STEWART: We probably know less at that point. We're sitting in a corner and dont have a view of what's going on.
CARL EDWARDS: For me personally, just got to keep focused. Until they call it and you're out of the car, they announce the finish, you got to keep racing.
KERRY THARP: Gentlemen, thank you for putting on a great show Good luck this week at Watkins Glen.