TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: HOW ABOUT YOUR RUN IN THE INDY 500? We got into the lead with a car that was really balanced and comfortable to drive and I just got greedy. The sun came out and that changed the track ...
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
HOW ABOUT YOUR RUN IN THE INDY 500?
We got into the lead with a car that was really balanced and comfortable to drive and I just got greedy. The sun came out and that changed the track conditions from what we had the rest of the race up to that point.
"You know, the driver made too many mistakes. I stalled in the pits. That got us bad track position. The biggest mistake I made was the call to take downforce off the car. It was really balanced with the down force we had in it, but when I took it off the car was real skittish in traffic, and I really didn't like that last set of tires.
"The guys did a great job. It's very easy to see why those guys won the race last year. They've got a great race team and its just a matter of when you race these cars once a year, its hard to do what we were trying to do here. But, I was gambling that I wouldn't make three mistakes today and I made three. You just can't make that many."
THINGS GOT A LITTLE WILD THERE WITH THE RAIN DELAY. YOU WERE FEELING SOME CRAMPING. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU WERE FEELING AND WHAT YOU DID TO ADDRESS IT? "
It wasn't a cramping. It was numbness and normally that's due to a pressure point in the feet that maybe puts too much pressure on a certain part of your leg. We didn't do enough long runs to find that problem out, so unfortunately it was my throttle foot and it was making me inconsistent to the throttle. But, you know that wasn't what caused this by any means. I just made the wrong call with the downforce that's what hurt us in the end."
HOW COMPETITIVE WAS THIS RACE COMPARED TO THE RACE IN 1999?
"This was very competitive. The lap times we were running there were a lot faster than the race pace from the last year I was there -- probably three or four miles per hour faster, so that shows you how tight and competitive this year's field was."
HOW STRONG WERE THE PENSKE TEAMS AND MICHAEL ANDRETTI?
"It seems like if we could get ahead of the Penske cars we could hold them off. We were just fast enough to keep them from making a run on us, but if they got ahead of us, there wasn't any way we were really going to get by. I was hoping to make a tire set change on that last stop and get another set of tires that we had been saving for the end, but due to the way the yellow fell -- we didn't need that caution. We needed it to go longer in order to put tires on the car to where we could go to the end on a different set of tires."
WHAT WAS RUNNING THROUGH YOUR MIND AT THE BEGINNING OF THE RACE WHEN YOU KEPT RUNNING INTO CAUTION AFTER CAUTION?
"I just knew it would make us awfully close on time (to get to Charlotte), so I was just hoping the wind was at our back going down there."
DID IT MAKE YOU MORE ANTSY OR GIVE YOU MORE DESIRE TO MAKE QUICK LAPS AGAINST THE CLOCK?
"No. You still have to race the race. You can't get in too big a hurry there. You've got to take care of your car to make it to the end. I just made too many mistakes today."
ARE YOU GOING TO TRY THIS AGAIN?
"I'll worry about that later."