Stewart tells PIR media happy with 1st practice results

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Team Chevy Racing press release

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET met with members of the media at Phoenix International Raceway and discussed the new configuration of the Phoenix track, the first practice session and other topics. Full Transcript:

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

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

HOW WAS YOUR PRACTICE SESSION (FASTEST IN FIRST PRACTICE TODAY)? “I was pretty happy with it. It’s nice to come back here and kind of finish off where we left off last fall we were pretty good here in the fall. It’s nice to come back in the spring here and do it again.”

DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR TEAMMATE? “I actually was still on pit road waiting on my turn to go out. He (Ryan Newman) just said he got loose getting into turn three. Like I told him that is why we bring two cars to the race track. The second car is just as good as his first one is. It will be fine.”

HOW WOULD YOU ASSESS YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE NEW SHAPE AND SURFACE HER AT PHOENIX? “I think we probably made more gains. You know we got to do the Goodyear tire test here and then the open test and then the race. By the time the end of the race weekend was over it was our third time on the new track. I think we probably made our biggest gains between the tire test and the open test and then the open test to the race. More so than what we did coming back here in the spring.”

THIS WEEK NASCAR CAME DOWN WITH SOME BIG PENALTIES FOR THE NO. 48 TEAM. DO YOU THINK THE PENALTIES WERE TOO HARSH? “Those penalties don’t have anything to do with me. I don’t worry about them.”

DOES IT SEEM LIKE THE RACING GROOVE HAS GOTTEN WIDER OR CAN YOU TELL YET? “I don’t know what the track did here. It is pretty rubbered-up, quite a ways across the race track. I would say they did something trying to get it ready. It looks like they did a really good job whatever they did.”

YESTERDAY PENSKE ANNOUNCED THAT THEY WILL LEAVE DODGE AND GO TO FORD. ARE YOU SURPRISED HOW EARLY THEY MADE THAT ANNOUNCEMENT? “Again, it is nothing that pertains to what I’m doing so I really don’t pay attention to it. I was shocked to hear it, but I didn’t really think much about it honestly. I’m so focused on what we are doing with our team, with a new crew chief, a new competition director we have plenty of stuff to worry about versus what the other guys are doing. We are very focused on what this No. 14 car is doing right now.”

DANICA (PATRICK) WAS JOKING EARLIER ABOUT HOW SHE LEARNED HOW TO CRASH AND CERTAIN THINGS SHE CAN DO DIFFERENTLY IN A CRASH SITUATION. DO YOU GO OVER THAT KIND OF STUFF WITH HER? “I think it is just circumstances. Every race car I’ve ever driven wrecks are different in them. How cars crash and this and that, when I say crash it is where they go when they have a problem. I think it is stuff that time gets you used to that. Everything is sensory overload for her because she is doing stuff that is totally different than what she is used to. Every week is going to be a learning experience right now.”

DO YOU WATCH A LOT OF HER NATIONWIDE RACES? “I always watch the Nationwide races. I watch them because we learn from it for our races too. We will watch what she is doing obviously because we have interest in trying to help her be better in the Cup car too.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE RACE TRACK HERE? HOW DO YOU THINK IT IS COMING ALONG AFTER THE REPAVE? “I think it is fine. It’s not the old Phoenix that we used to have obviously. I am still partial to that. Every time they made a change I liked it less and less. There are a lot of things that had to be done and had to be updated and they did a really good job of that. With the surface they did an awesome job paving it. It is not changed much from when we were here last fall.”

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags cheverolet, phoenix, shr, stewart