J.D. GIBBS , PRESIDENT OF JOE GIBBS RACING On Tony Stewart incidents with Rusty Wallace and Jeff Gordon during the race: "That was just kind of racing there. On the Jeff deal, the (Tony's) spotter was talking over there and he apologized to...
J.D. GIBBS , PRESIDENT OF JOE GIBBS RACING
On Tony Stewart incidents with Rusty Wallace and Jeff Gordon during the race:
"That was just kind of racing there. On the Jeff deal, the (Tony's) spotter was talking over there and he apologized to Greg (Zipadelli, crew chief) and said that he screwed that up. That was just a mistake on our part in not giving him information.
Do you feel like you are getting a smear campaign going against Tony in the garage?
"It comes and goes. It's the guys. There were a few things going early in the year and it's just kind of escalated a little bit there. But I think, again, for the last two races - Terry was an accident and he apologized for that and he had a deal with Jeff today when somebody stepped on the radio (two talking at the same time). When you look at the race, there's stuff going on all over the place with people hitting guys. Tony is about as certain as they come on the race track. That's just his history. It'll blow over in a little bit and hopefully it'll only be talked about until Wednesday."
So there is nothing you need to talk to him about?
"Obviously, that's just racing. More often you walk away unhappy than happy. No, we'll just go on to next week. Bobby (Labonte) had a bad deal there with the fuel thing there at the end. But he ran well. We'll move on and hopefully have some more fun at Richmond."
TONY STEWART , NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
On the incident with the #2 car of Rusty Wallace:
"We came off of (turn) two and we got together and that put him in the wall, but the corner before that he drove right down into the left side of us like we weren't even there. So, I don't know why he's pointing the finger at somebody else. I got underneath him and I got loose coming up off of two. I didn't try to get into him, but in the corner before that he's the one that drove into us.
"He wants to talk about what I did to him at Bristol. Well, I remember a day when drivers were a little more cordial than they are today, and that when a faster driver came up, guys like Mark Martin - guys who respect everybody - would let them go and then work on their car and come back and get them later on in the race. But Rusty's not that way. He's out for Rusty. He's not going to move over for anybody. He doesn't care if it's about a 50/50 race where you're working with people. It's all about Rusty right now.
"The deal off of two was an accident. I don't know if he tucked up against the side of it to get a pull in the draft or what, but I got real loose all of a sudden for no reason. I got into him and then pulled off as soon as I could. I didn't stay on him. I tugged on the wheel. I could've pinned him against the fence and I didn't do that.
"It's easy to point fingers at a guy when he's down right now. I'll just take it, I guess, and go on. But if he wants to point fingers then he can keep pointing fingers. I used to have a lot of respect for him too. He wants to talk about respect, well, he had the opportunity to show me respect at Bristol and he didn't do it. So, I don't know what he's complaining about. He's got nothing to complain about.
On the incident with the #24 car of Jeff Gordon:
"My spotter and my crew chief were talking about the damage on the car, so Mark (Robertson, spotter) was trying to tell Zippy (Greg Zipadelli, crew chief) what was going on with the car. But during that he didn't let me know that the '24' car was even there. It startled me because I didn't even see him coming. I wasn't trying to hold anybody up, because I let everybody else go who was faster than me at that point. So obviously I wasn't trying to hold Jeff up either."