BEHIND THE HAULER CHAT WITH TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT MONTE CARLO SS: Do you feel you're in position to pull off a string of wins like you did last year? I don't know. We have to do it one week at a time right now and not worry about...
BEHIND THE HAULER CHAT WITH TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT MONTE CARLO SS:
Do you feel you're in position to pull off a string of wins like you did last year?
I don't know. We have to do it one week at a time right now and not worry about what we did last year.
How physically demanding is it on you in the car?
This is one of the places that you don't get hardly any chance to rest during a lap. You're working almost all the way around here, and if you do get a break it's a second or two at a time, and only in a couple of spots on the track. It's one of those places that's really busy to get around.
What is it about these tracks that is so hard for the young guys to learn?
It's hard for us to know. You're asking us to be inside their heads and we don't know. It's hard for us to say. Some guys come in and are really good right off the bat, some guys struggle right off the bat with them. It just shows the diverse talent we have in this series.
What was the hard part for you to learn on road courses?
We pretty much had success right off the bat, and it's never really changed from that. There have been races where we struggled and missed the combination, but for the most part we've always been a contender at these tracks whether we won or not.
It's forecast to be in the high 90s - how much of a factor will the temperature be?
I was actually hoping it will be in the low 100s. That's what I'd like to see in the forecast. We'll be fine in the cars, we're all conditioned for heat. It doesn't matter to us, but it will make you guys with the makeup sweat more.
How much of a concern is the shoulder with shifting?
This is going to be the last time that we talk about our shoulder because it is 100 percent healed. It's not an issue at all now finally.
You're going to race at Matt Kenseth's track next week; is that a chance to get away from it all?
It should be a lot of fun, I'm looking forward to it. I'm sure Matt's going to kick my butt up there because he has a lot of laps around that place. That's where I met Matt, in the ARTGO Series, running that type of cars. I remember how good he is because when they said "Leader coming," that was him when he went by. I picked up about two-tenths a lap that night just following Matt around. It's going to be fun. We took him up to Eldora last year and he enjoyed the dirt. We kicked his butt on the dirt last year so I'm sure it's revenge time.
How do you see the head-to-head competition between you and Jeff Gordon when you come here?
I don't know that it is head-to-head. There are still 42 guys out there and neither one of us is on the pole, so I don't think we should worry about each other, we better worry about the guys who are ahead of us right now.
How do you feel going back to Daytona?
The same as I did when I went last year, I guess. You go from this week to next week, so nothing we do this week pertains next week. We go back there and pray that we have a night like we had last year at this time.
What are the biggest changes to the car that benefit the driver?
I don't know what changes he makes to be honest. My relationship with Zippy has always been that I know my strong point and that's the steering wheel and pedals. His strong point is making the car do what I want it to do. We've always worked really hard on saying this is the information that I've got about what the car is doing that I don't like or what I need it to different. The setup stuff is up to him.
How hard is it to turn right?
It's not hard, and if you don't figure it out you're going to crash. We do it all the time in street cars, it's not like we can't figure it out in race cars.
What's your favorite turn here?
All of them. I love this race track. Every corner is different, every corner has it's good and bad spot. This is one of those tracks that every corner keeps you on your toes.