Stewart on 500th Cup start: It's a cool accomplishment

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Homestead-Miami Speedway and discussed making his 500th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start, the high and low points of the season and other topics.

Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

500TH START THIS WEEKEND CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT MILESTONE? “It means I’m getting old (laughs). I’m pretty proud of that. It’s a cool accomplishment. I remember when I came in the series watching guys get recognized for their 500th start. That is pretty neat.”

LAST RACE WITH OFFICE DEPOT TALK ABOUT WHAT THEY HAVE MEANT TO YOU AND YOUR ORGANIZATION: “They have been awesome. They were the first company that came and wanted to be a part of this program when it started. Even before I actually signed my deal with Gene (Haas) was when they came and say ‘hey we don’t know if what we are hearing you are doing you are going to do, but if you are we want to be a part of it.’ That was nice to have that kind of vote of confidence from somebody like Office Depot.”

IN YOUR MIND WHAT ARE THE HIGH POINTS AND LOW POINTS OF THIS SEASON? “I think the high point is probably winning at Las Vegas, winning at a track we hadn’t won at before was definitely a high point. A lot of places that we were so good at last year in the Chase, not being good this time and this year around was a little disappointing.”

DO YOU FEEL DISCOURAGED GOING INTO NEXT YEAR GIVING THAT YOU RECENTLY HAVEN’T BEEN RUNNING WELL AT THE SAME PLACES YOU RAN WELL AT LAST YEAR? “We’ve got such a different car and different package next year, everybody just kind of starts over. I am discouraged that we are finishing this way, but not because of what it’s going to lead to next year. Everybody is going to start with stuff that is totally different package wise than what we have. A totally new body that is obvious to everybody, but things underneath the car that the guys are doing to the cars this year that we are not going to be allowed to do next year. There are a lot of changes and it’s going to be a whole new learning process starting over in Daytona.”

WHAT TYPE OF RACE DO YOU THINK WE ARE GOING TO SEE ON SUNDAY? “You always ask that after practice when nobody has ran around each other. I honestly have no idea. When we went on the race track there was rubber all the way across from the bottom to the top so they are obviously using the whole race track before we even started. That is a good sign that the race track still moves around.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHAT JEFF (GORDON) DID LAST WEEK? “I’m not going to get involved in that.”

THE ELDORA RUMOR HEATED UP AGAIN CAN YOU SAY ANYTHING ON THAT? “When we have something to say we will tell you guys. It’s starting to get annoying every week it’s like we don’t even know answers and you guys want answers that we don’t even have answers to. When we have answers we will come to you guys I promise we will not let you be left out of this.”

LAST YEAR GOING INTO THE FINAL WEEKEND YOU AND CARL (EDWARDS) KIND OF TOOK SOME JABS AT EACH OTHER IN YOUR ESTIMATION WHAT IMPACT CAN THAT HAVE SAY BETWEEN BRAD (KESELOWSKI) AND JIMMIE (JOHNSON)? “I don’t know I haven’t been paying attention to what they are doing. It affects different guys different ways.”

DOES THE CHASE GET MORE DIFFICULT OR EASIER WHEN YOU HAVE SOME WHAT OF A CUSHION OR IS IT BETTER IF YOU DON’T HAVE A CUSHION AND JUST RACE KNOWING YOU NEED TO PUSH IT EVERYTHING AS HARD AS POSSIBLE THE WHOLE WAY? “I don’t know. We’ve been in both situations. The whole day is evenly as tough no matter where you are at it’s a tough day. There is nothing easy about it.”

Team Chevy Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Interview
Tags chevrolet, haas, hms, homestead, miami, nascar-cup, stewart