TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OLD SPICE/OFFICE DEPOT IMPALA SS -- Finished 2nd: "I'm pretty excited. This Old Spice / Office Depot Chevy is really good. It's the best handling car I've ever had here. It's really, really nice for a CoT car (laughs). I'm...
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OLD SPICE/OFFICE DEPOT IMPALA SS -- Finished 2nd:
"I'm pretty excited. This Old Spice / Office Depot Chevy is really good. It's the best handling car I've ever had here. It's really, really nice for a CoT car (laughs). I'm really happy with the way my cars are driving. We've got a little bit of work to do but I'm really proud of these guys. Man, to bring two good cars own like this so far, I couldn't be happier. Everybody was pretty sensible out there today. Nobody was real crazy. It was not the wildness we saw Saturday night, that's for sure."
TALK ABOUT THE LAST COUPLE OF LAPS WHEN YOU GOT AROUND JEFF GORDON AND THEN HE GOT AROUND YOU "We just kept getting so far ahead that we were getting too big of runs. Jeff would get out and then he'd get too far ahead and then we'd get a run on him and it's too much to try to tuck in and go, you know. With that short a race left, you've got to try and win the thing. So we just kept going around. We'd get too far ahead and then Jeff would get the run on us. But he wasn't trying to run us into the infield and didn't try to run us up. That's what made today fun."
ON THE RACE "Man, I'm just so proud of Darian Grubb and everybody on the Office Depot / Old Spice team. I keep saying they've done such a great job and I'm really, really proud of the race cars that we brought here. It's unbelievable. We've had an awesome driving car the whole time we've been here. Hopefully we can give Ryan (Newman) the same thing."
"We knew we were locked in on time. It was just a matter of having a good run and if we could get the car driving good, and it did, right off the bat, it's always safer the further forward you can get, and we got up there and stayed in the top three all day and led some laps again and we feel like we've got a good car for Sunday now."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE DAY "I'm really happy right now. To look on the board and see two Stewart-Haas cars in the top 10 with Ryan up there and myself, I just couldn't be more proud. I'm really proud of all my guys. They have just done an unbelievable job in such a short amount of time."
MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS IMPALA SS, finished 21st after spinning during race, will start on pole for Daytona 500:
"We had such a good car there. It was really fast, it was just a little bit on the tight side there on that first stop. They loosened it up and it went instantly just way too loose. I was holding my own out front, but once I got back there in line behind some cars, I was just hanging on. Somebody got in my quarter panel and got me loose and that was it. It just sucked it right around. We know at least what to work on from here on out."
WERE YOU WORRIED ABOUT DAMAGING THE CAR WHILE YOU SPINNING AROUND OUT THERE AND HAVE TO GO TO A BACKUP AND NOT START ON THE POLE? "I saw where the wall was and I was doing my best to make sure I didn't head for it. It was luckily just a minor incident. Feel bad for my guys because I really wanted to win that thing and we had a good shot at it there, I just got myself in the wrong spot there with a car that wasn't right. We will work on it tomorrow and get ready for the 500.
"You are just looking around and looking in your mirrors hoping, praying, there is no two ways about it, you have to have luck on your side. I knew I could keep it off the wall. But I didn't know who was behind me, what their position, whether there was other car spinning or anything. You kind of spin out with your fingers crossed hopin' nobody else hits you.
"The right rear corner got tore up a little but I think that is where the No. 6 or somebody got in to me a little bit, I'm not sure. The splitter braces were bent a little bit but other than that, the car is in perfect shape. It should be fine."
TRACK POSITION DIDN'T USE TO MEAN THAT MUCH HERE, IT SEEMS LIKE IT DOES HERE NOW. "It is huge. Like I said, I could do anything I wanted until I got behind somebody then I couldn't do anything. It is a huge deal to be up front."
ARE YOU SETTING YOUR CAR UP FOR RUNS LONGER THAN SAY 20 LAPS? "Well, 25-30 laps is a long run with these cars and the way these tires are. You lose a lot of grip really fast. I think we have a good baseline. They are pretty long runs, you can go about 40 laps on gas I think so we were close to that. We need to work with it from about lap five one.It seems like you get about five laps where everybody is really good then it kind of single files, strings out and you start slipping and sliding a whole bunch."
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO RUN ON THOSE BUMPS OUT THERE AT THOSE SPEEDS WITH CARS THAT CLOSE? "It's not bad until somebody gets the air off your car. That is what happened to me. Somebody got the outside on my right rear corner and I had a car tucked right up behind me. Once they take the air off the back of your car, there is nothing you can do.
"It is hitting the bumps with the front and the back sliding, there is no where you can go but up. Then the No. 2 came around me and that was the end of that. I was just trying to keep it off of him. It is difficult when we race side-by-side, especially on old tires, when it is like that. It is what it is. To win the 500 you are going to have to do it so we need to work on it and get it better in those positions."
I GUESS IF YOU ARE GOING TO SPEND, THIS IS THE RACE TO DO IT BECAUSE YOU STILL GET TO START ON THE POLE? "Yea. Yea, I mean, that is kinda what I figured. I am a little disappointed in it. We had a strong car, we were doing everything right and we just over adjusted on that first stop, there is no two ways about. I was kinda hangin' on leadin' and as soon as I got behind those two cars and got the air off the car, I mean, I lost everything. I had no grip at all. It is just the way it is you get back in the pack, it doesn't matter where we go, it is like that. So we need to work on our car in the pack a little bit and try and get it a little bit more stable with other cars around it."
ARE YOU FIRED UP ABOUT HOW FAST YOUR CAR IS? "It is unbelievable, the speed and the power. The engine is incredible. It is the best car as far as speed goes that I have ever had at any plate track. That is encouraging, we just need to work on the handling and get it a little bit better."
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS -- Sidelined in crash:
HARD CONTACT WITH THE WALL "Yeah, well, I guess wrong place, wrong time. The U.S. Army Chevrolet was good. We were making our way to the front and taking our time. I was patient the whole race. Reutimann is a good name for him (David) because he root the man right out of the way and bounced me right up into the wall and that was the end of our day."
WHAT HAPPENED AND ARE YOU ALL RIGHT? "I'm fine. The U.S. Army Chevrolet is junk, but I'm fine. We had a fast car, that's for sure. We were working our way back up. I seen a couple of cars with some tire problems and we actually had a tire problem in the very beginning there in the first 15 laps. In the end, we just got hit and knocked up into the wall. So, it's unfortunate, but racing goes on."
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY TO DAVID REUTIMANN RIGHT NOW? "I know he didn't do it on purpose but it's the 150's. We were 15 laps from the end or 10 laps from the end, so it's like why? Why do it? Evidentially his race car was faster than he was."
WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN THOSE LAPS TODAY THAT YOU CAN USE SUNDAY? "The track is slick. You've got to handle, that's for sure. You saw the guys separate out more so than they did last year. In the end, that's what we get paid to do is drive a car."
ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT TIRES FOR SUNDAY? "I'll have to see what the assessment was after today. But I saw we had a couple of failures but we had an issue that I thought was kind of out of the blue. We didn't have problem yesterday with it so we'll see what happens."
THE FANS ENJOYED SEEING YOU WALK OUT ON THE TRACK AFTER THE WRECK "Well, why hit a guy like that? I never touched anybody with my front bumper the whole race. It's not necessary. He drilled me. And he was driving over his head, that's the bottom line and I was trying to make him realize that. If I have to guilt him into it in the first 30 seconds after he does it, so be it."
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S/CARQUEST IMPALA SS, FINISHED 2ND:
"What a great effort, we are off to such a great start with the Kellogg's/CARQUEST Impala. I want to thank Rick Hendrick. I want to thank the race fans for supporting me. I wouldn't have this job if it weren't for all of our great race fans. I will tell you what, that put a smile on my face. This is a great race team and Rick Hendrick gave me a chance to drive this car and this is going to be the best year of my life."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVY, FINISHED 4TH:
"I tell you, the Target Chevy and everybody at EGR has done an amazing job. I think everybody has a fast car. I screwed up coming in the pits, came in way too hot. I've been thinking about it and I think it was just from running the 24-Hour car. I came in, put it in neutral like normal, went to hit the brakes and oh. I thought I could stop it and as soon as I locked the rears and I felt like an idiot to be honest. I'm pretty happy. We came back. We made an adjustment when we had the caution. We have a car I think that has a chance of going for the 500 and that is pretty cool."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL/PENNZOIL IMPALA SS, Finished 18th:
"Well, it definitely wasn't the finish we wanted or expected. We were sixth, I think, on that last restart and got shuffled back in those last laps. I'm not sure what happened on the very last lap. I think somebody got into us and loosened us up a little. We're starting further back than we wanted on Sunday, but we came from the back two years ago and from the back in the (Budweiser) Shootout, so we know it can be done. Now we just have to do it."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA SS, Finished 7th:
"We've got a good car for the (Daytona) 500. We were really good all race long but just had that tire issue. I probably could've got a few more positions there at the end but I didn't want to do anything to jeopardize the car."
-credit: gm racing