TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET met with members of the media at Texas Motor Speedway and discussed the struggles at Martinsville, racing at Talladega and other topics.
So far we have a good weekend going so far -- we’re second quick on the board.
ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE ISSUES THAT BOTH OF YOUR CARS HAD LAST WEEK?: “The gear issue that we had -- we have to look in to. That’s the first one we’ve lost this year, but we had a problem with Ryan’s (Newman) car last fall losing a gear. We’re definitely looking into that. The deal with the header and the wire -- we haven’t had that issue, but at the same time we’ll still put just as much emphasis on looking into that as we do the gear side. Neither one of those variables are good. Nobody else had problems with them so it’s stuff that we definitely need to look at and figure out what happened at why.”
WERE YOU STRUGGLING AT MARTINSVILLE?: “Struggling is a compliment. We were absolutely junk -- Ryan (Newman) was really good and in the meeting on Monday he was real happy with his car. We were two totally different directions. The direction that Darian (Grubb, crew chief) and I have been going -- we decided that we will definitely not be bringing that back in the fall. It will be more towards Ryan’s side.”
IS IT TOO EARLY TO BE WORRIED ABOUT POINTS?: “It is. Especially with the way people are jumping up and down. Guys are making big gains and guys are having big losses at the same time. Every week that jump is going to be less and less as the points open up a little bit more. I wouldn’t say there’s any reason to panic yet.”
ARE YOU MORE OPTIMISTIC COMING TO TEXAS?: “We were solid both races last year here. So far we have a good weekend going so far -- we’re second quick on the board. Definitely I’m glad last week is over and I’m glad we’re on a new week this week for sure.”
WOULD YOU BENEFIT MORE IF THIS PRACTICE WAS LATER?: “Yeah, but I still like today’s schedule better than what we’ve had. I don’t know about the other drivers, but we came in today so I only have to stay here two nights. I got to stay in my own bed one more night than I normally do. It’s little things like that that mean a lot to us drivers. I don’t know -- I was pretty grateful to have that night at home again.”
IS TALLADEGA GOING TO BE JUST LIKE WE SAW AT DAYTONA?: “I think it will be identical to Daytona actually. Maybe even more guys being wider -- it’s a wider track so instead of just three wide you might be able to get guys four wide even there pretty comfortable.”
DO YOU HAVE A MECHANICAL BACKGROUND?: “I don’t have a mechanical background just for the record. I’ve worked on race cars a long time, but I do not have a mechanical background. My father is almost disappointed because he had a mechanical background and I’m almost the let down to the family gene because I can work on them, but not real well. I can do just enough stuff to screw up a race car. That’s why I’m glad I have a teammate that does have an engineering degree and does have that knowledge of working on cars.”
DOES IT MATTER IF SOMEONE IS MECHANICAL TO MAKE THE CAR GO FASTER?: “I don’t know -- in this day and age, I don’t think so. These engineers and crew chiefs have to almost be as smart as the guys that launch the space shuttle. Working on these cars is different than working on anything else you do in any other series. The technology and the things that we do with these cars is quite a bit different than what we do anything else.”
HAVE ANY OF KIMI RAIKKONEN’S PEOPLE SPOKE WITH YOU ABOUT DOING CUP RACES?: “I didn’t know anything about him even running a truck until we saw it on Wind Tunnel last week. I’m not interested in having Kimi (Raikkonen) right now. There’s no doubt that he can drive a race car and has a lot of talent, but he’s got to drive a stock car quite a while before we’re going to look at somebody like him to jump in a car.”
WOULD YOU DO A THIRD CAR FOR A FULL SEASON RATHER THAN JUST ONE RACE?: “I don’t think we can justify hiring the people that it takes to run a third car unless you can keep them on for the whole year. Running a partial schedule, you’re still keeping those guys full time. The way I see it, it’s not advantageous to run a partial schedule. You want to put a program together for a full year.”
-source: team chevy