Bristol: Stewart - Friday media visit

TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT IMPALA SS TALKS WITH MEDIA ABOUT HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT, THE NEW RACE CAR FORMA, HIS CLASSIC CAR PURCHASE AND RACING AGAINST JIMMIE JOHNSON IN ATLANTA HOW DO YOU LIKE THE NEW CAR? "It still doesn't feel like the...

TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT IMPALA SS TALKS WITH MEDIA ABOUT HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT, THE NEW RACE CAR FORMA, HIS CLASSIC CAR PURCHASE AND RACING AGAINST JIMMIE JOHNSON IN ATLANTA

HOW DO YOU LIKE THE NEW CAR? "It still doesn't feel like the old car by any means but this Impala SS, it's a lot better than I thought it was going to qualify so I'm happy with that.

"We just made a couple little itty bitty changes before qualifying so I'm sure the track's probably picked up a little bit. I was just trying to match what I did because if you said everybody tried out-matching them or just going a tick quicker but I didn't know we were going to be that much quicker."

IS THE CAR REALLY AS BAD AS YOU THOUGHT EARLIER? "No, it's not quite as bad. I mean, after you let the engineers have a couple weeks to work on it like we talked about during the test. they had a chance to analyze all their data and it would be better than what it was when we were here during the test. At the test they all didn't feel so good but now it feels a little bit better. It still doesn't feel as good as the other cars did but at least we're decent so far."

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING? "I can do it for one lap; Denny can do it for a lot of laps right now. I don't know honestly. It's like we talked about it before, it's just going to be a matter of who can find out what this car laps the quickest right now. I'm not sure. I held my breath good for a lap, good enough to get us there so far but we'll see if it stays."

DO YOU THINK THE CAR WILL PASS WELL OR DRIVE WELL IN TRAFFIC? "For now. We're not going to know until we do it. I don't think it will be a big deal here on the short tracks. Not here or at Martinsville but you're not going fast enough. It's more just about regular racing here, it's when you get to the mile-and-a-halfs next year that it's going to be a big deal."

HOW DOES THE CAR LOOK TO YOU? "I still think it's ugly. They're all ugly but at least everybody's cars look ugly. We all look evenly ugly. I still don't think they look that good. I couldn't watch that Busch practice and see what a stock car is supposed to look like vs. a sports car."

DIDN'T YOU AND SPEED COMMENTATOR MIKE JOY BUY A CAR TOGETHER AT BARRETT-JACKSON? "I bought it and I'm waiting on as far as what we do when we sell it and all that."

IT'S A FORD GALAXIE, RIGHT? "I think so."

WHAT'S YOUR INTEREST IN THOSE KINDS OF CARS? "I didn't have any but he said he thought it might be a sleeper that might be a good buy late in the day."

WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH IT? "Whatever he wants to do with it. I told Mike, I said 'it's up to you what we do with it, if we make any money off of it, whatever we make we're going to spilt in half."

HOW DID YOU GUYS GET HOOKED UP? "He was out there all week doing the coverage of it (the auction) and I asked him for some advice about a couple of cars I was looking at, late in the day on Sunday. It was kind of getting dull and he said 'if you're looking for some buys or some cars you might be able to turn over and make some money, this is one you might want to look at.'"

HE'S GOT A REAL PASSION FOR THIS STUFF? "Oh yeah. The depth of knowledge he's got on the collector-car market is unbelievable. I was really impressed."

JIMMIE JOHNSON WAS TALKING ABOUT HOW MUCH TALENT IT TOOK AT ATLANTA FOR YOU TO GET OUT OF THE WALL, STRAIGHTEN YOUR CAR AND SHOOT HIM THE BIRD. "I didn't shoot him off. I got my fist out there and that's just the heat of the battle. When it was over it was over and by the time we got to the airport I'd calmed down. That shows you just how much we both want to win. Jimmie and I are really good friends and I'd rather be mad at him than any of the other guys so like I said, it was either go ahead and push the issue and both of us crash or back off and end up second."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Cup