TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT / OLD SPICE IMPALA SS met with media and discussed racing at Richmond, the Talladega race last weekend, what it means to win your first race and more. ON THE CUP RACE SATURDAY NIGHT "I think early in the race...
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT / OLD SPICE IMPALA SS met with media and discussed racing at Richmond, the Talladega race last weekend, what it means to win your first race and more.
ON THE CUP RACE SATURDAY NIGHT "I think early in the race the groove is going to move up and get really wide really quick. That's always makes this place fun because it get's wide and for a short track, it's uncommon to have a track get that wide like this."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW FAR KEVIN HARVICK HAS COME WITH HIS NATIONWIDE PROGRAM IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME "I think he's done a great job. Obviously, I've been a huge part of being there for a long time. So it's always been a lot of fun driving for Kevin and DeLana and they do a great job. I think Kevin is very detailed- oriented and I think that's what it takes to be good in the position he's in."
DO RACERS LOOK AT OWNERSHIP WITH A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE? HE SAID ONE OF THE THINGS WAS JUST MAKING SURE YOU GUYS HAD COMPETITIVE EQUIPMENT SO YOU ENJOYED WHAT YOU WERE DOING "Well, everybody wants to do that. Everybody wants to have good cars and good equipment and you want to know, as a driver, that every time you go on the race track that you're going to be a deciding factor, not whether you have something or don't have something that you need. So, it's always a huge key in knowing that you've got what you need."
ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRACTICING IN THE DAY AND RACING AT NIGHT "It's been twice a year for I don't know how many years we've been racing at night, but it's the same that it's always been. It's no different this time around than previous times."
LOOKING BACK AT TALLADEGA, WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT THAT? ANYTHING? NOTHING? "I don't know. We're just the drivers."
DO THE DRIVERS NEED TO POLICE WHAT GOES ON, ON THE TRACK, OR IS THAT WHERE NASCAR NEEDS TO STEP IN? "NASCAR has always said we're the ones who have control. For somebody to wreck like that, one person has to go one way and one person has to go a different direction. And that's what happens. It's just a product of the environment that we're in. Nobody is going to give up the lead. They're going to make somebody earn it and if that person holds their ground, then that's what's going to happen. But you have to be conscious of it and Carl (Edwards) made a decision and that was the result of it. You really can't put blame anywhere. There is nobody to blame. NASCAR does it to make the racing good for the fans. The drivers do what they can because they're trying to win races. Nobody's at fault. There is nowhere to point a finger, it's just a product of the environment."
DID YOU CONTEMPLATE PUTTING BRAD KESELOWSKI IN ONE OF THE STEWART-HAAS CARS IF YOU DECIDE TO EXPAND? "If we decided to expand, we'd look at everybody that's available. Obviously Brad is one of those guys, but right now we're still a two-car team and we've got two good drivers, I feel like. So right now we don't have an opening."
KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW NOW AS FAR AS NASCAR EMPHASIZING NOT GOING BELOW THE YELLOW LINE, IF YOU WERE IN THE SAME SITUATION WITH REGAN SMITH WOULD YOU HAVE DONE ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY LAST FALL? "I'm still going to protect my spot. And I'd do that, knowing that could be the end result of it. But nobody is going to give up the lead and just give it away and let somebody have it. You're going to fight for it and you just know that's as product of what can happen and you take that risk on as a driver."
GIVEN YOUR LOVE FOR INDIANAPOLIS AND YOUR QUEST TO WIN THERE, CAN YOU RELATE TO DENNY HAMLIN'S FRUSTRATION IN NOT WINNING AT RICHMOND? "The good thing is he's been close and he knows it's a matter of time before he gets one here. I don't think it's something where he lays awake at night because he feels like he's never going to have a chance. The good thing is you get two chances here a year. You only get one at Indy."
AS TOUGH AS IT IS TO WIN A RACE, HOW MUCH OF A CONFIDENCE BOOSTER IS IT TO WIN YOUR FIRST RACE? "Oh yeah, it always gives you more confidence after you get that first win. You always wonder if you can win and then once you've won, it's not a matter of can you when, it's when is it going to happen again? Just getting over that hump and getting the first one is a big accomplishment.
DID YOU REALIZE THAT OLD SPICE WAS GOING TO DO THAT MUCH ACTIVATION WITH THE COMMERCIAL AND THE WHOLE PROGRAM? "We knew they had intentions of doing a lot with it. That's the great thing about the program is that we've got partners that are very active and are working hard to be as active in the sport as they can, which right now, it's hard to spend that money in advertising with the economy the way it is and that's something I've been really proud of Old Spice and Office Depot is that they've worked really hard to keep promoting the brands and let us be a part of it with them."
-credit: gm racing