Loudon II: Stewart post qualifying interview

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/OLD SPICE IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 2ND: TALK ABOUT YOUR LAP: "It was good. I was happy with it. I think we ran a 74 in practice and ended up running a 72 in qualifying. So, we backed up what we ran, pretty happy...

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/OLD SPICE IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 2ND:

TALK ABOUT YOUR LAP:

"It was good. I was happy with it. I think we ran a 74 in practice and ended up running a 72 in qualifying. So, we backed up what we ran, pretty happy with that. Normally when we qualify well here, we race really well here. It is a perfect start to the weekend so far."

HAS JUAN PABLO MONTOYA GIVEN YOU AND OTHER TEAM OWNERS THE MINDSET TO LOOK AT OTHER OPEN WHEEL DRIVERS?

"I think Juan is the exception to the rule. You have to look at them individually. Juan has done a great job obviously, I have said that from day one. There are others that have come in that haven't done a very good job. Takes people a long time for people to get used to these cars when you come from open wheel. I don't know, I am not sure I know exactly what you are wanting from this. There have not been very many guys that have been very good at it here recently and he has been the exception to the rule for sure. He is the guy that it doesn't matter what kind of car you throw him in, he is going to figure it out. But I'm not sure that everybody has the talent level that he has."

DO YOU APPROACH EACH CHASE RACE INDIVIDUALLY OR DO YOU HAVE A GAME PLAN? IS THE GOAL TO JUST LEAVE HERE NOT TAKING YOURSELF OUT OF CONTENTION FOR THE TITLE?

"I think so. You can't plan on next week or the week after that. We still have to get through this weekend. It is. You have more opportunities to take yourself out of winning a championship than you do ensuring that you win a champion. I think you have to take it one week at a time. You can lose it very easily on the last race just as easily as you can on the first race. If have a bad week now you can pretty much be sure that you are going to be out of it for the next nine weeks. It is crucial to have 10 good weeks and it starts this weekend. You have got to not worry about the next nine until you get through this one first."

HOW DO YOU KEEP YOURSELF IN CHECK WHEN THE INTENSITY OF THE CHASE IS NOW HERE?

"I don't think it changes a lot. We still have 10 weeks to go. We've got almost a quarter of our season still to go here in 10 weeks. It builds as you get closer to the end and you know who the guys are that have a shot to win the championship. I think the hard part is that it is hard to be super intense right now and maintain that for 10 weeks. Even though you know what is at stake, you still kind of treat it like any other week. We are going through the same process today that we went through the last week and that we went through in the spring when we were here. You try to get your car driving good and take it one day at a time. You take Sunday's race like you do every other week. As you get closer to the end and you know kind of what the scenario is that you're in and the cards that you are dealt, that changes it as it goes."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Cup