Pocono II: Pole winner interview

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/OLD SPICE CHEVROLET -- POLE WINNER HOW WAS YOUR RUN TODAY?: "Man, it felt good. It felt good enough through turn one that I got on the radio after we got on the exit there and told them we were good so far...

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/OLD SPICE CHEVROLET -- POLE WINNER

HOW WAS YOUR RUN TODAY?:

"Man, it felt good. It felt good enough through turn one that I got on the radio after we got on the exit there and told them we were good so far on the start of it. Then we got through the tunnel and felt like we made good time through the tunnel so I just keyed it again and told them we were good through two (turns) at least. I didn't know how it was going to be through turn three, but I felt like I might have lost a little bit of time there, but got through there pretty good too apparently or better than I thought I guess. Got to the line and he told me the time and it was a good lap."

HOW HAVE YOU GOTTEN TWO POLES IN THE LAST YEAR AND NONE IN THE PAST FOUR?:

"Tell me about it, I'm afraid the sky is going to be falling when I go outside so I'm a little surprised by it myself. I'm not a qualifier, I admit, that has always been my weak suit. Man, if you're going to pick a place where you want to have good track position, this is it because it's really important here at Pocono. If I don't go out like I did last year and crash the thing in happy hour then we'll have a good starting spot."

DO YOU NOTICE THAT JACK ROUSH IS NOT IN THE GARAGE THIS WEEKEND?:

"Yeah and I'll be honest, we were in the owners meeting the other night when we got word of what had happened so Robbie Reiser was there on behalf of Roush and kind of gave us all the update of what was going on. When I saw the pictures of it, I saw the picture of the plane first and that was pretty disturbing, but to see him, even though the picture was bad of him getting out of the plane, the fact that he was walking out of the plane on his own was a good sign. There's no doubt that he is the 'cat in the hat,' he's definitely a man with nine lives. I don't know how many he has left, but he's definitely used up a couple of them already.

"It's a scary thought of that happening. He's a guy that won't back down at all. I guarantee that as soon as he gets a chance, he'll be flying again and that's the great thing about Jack (Roush) is that he's a tough competitor and he's not going to let anything stand in his way and he'll get back after it so we wish him well."

DOES YOUR CAR FEEL THE SAME AS IT DID IN JUNE?:

"I don't know, I think it's a little different actually. I think it felt like our car was a little better today. I think it's a little cooler today so it probably felt better to everybody. The qualifying run, for sure I am hoping is a glimmer of hope of what the rest of the weekend is going to hold for us."

CAN INFORMATION TRANSLATE BETWEEN INDIANAPOLIS AND POCONO?:

"I think with the old car it used to a lot more than the new car.

"The difference is Indy is a lot smoother than Pocono is. Pocono just has a lot of age to it. Indy, they've ground on it and done a lot of things, but it seems like with these cars and the sensitivity of the bump stops in the front and splitter heights and all that, that it's a little harder to get what you do at Indy to work here at Pocono now so I think it's separated it a lot more now than it used to be."

WHICH CORNER GAVE YOU THE TIME TO GET ON THE POLE?:

"I felt like it was in one and two. I felt like both of them I made really good corners. I wasn't sure in three. Sometimes it's hard to read how you get through turn three because it's such a big, sweeping corner and such a momentum corner that it can feel slow and be really fast. Then there's times that I thought I was fast through there and didn't carry speed through there. Three's kind of misleading, but I guess, according to Darian (Grubb, crew chief) he said we made time in one, we were only like six-hundredths faster in the tunnel and we made time in three. He didn't say how much, but apparently we made better time through three than I thought during the runs. Apparently one and three were the corners that we really made up time."

DOES THE NEW STRIP OF PAVEMENT STILL AFFECT THE RACE TRACK?:

"It's aging in and it's definitely getting harder to see because color-wise, it's blending in a lot more so you definitely have to look for it. It's the difference between that patch and the older surface is starting to get closer together, but it's still the fast way around right now."

-source: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup