Martinsville: Stewart post-quaifying interview

Tony Stewart , No 20 The Home Depot Monte Carlo SS - Qualified Third ON YOUR QUALIFYING LAPS: "It was a good first lap and driver error (on the second lap) in turn three locked the left front up, went in a little bit too deep, used too much ...

Tony Stewart , No 20 The Home Depot Monte Carlo SS - Qualified Third

ON YOUR QUALIFYING LAPS:

"It was a good first lap and driver error (on the second lap) in turn three locked the left front up, went in a little bit too deep, used too much brake pressure and slid the left front. I lost a lap because of that. I'm excited to be in the top three. I think we have a great car. I'm really excited. I'm just ready to go."

WERE YOU SURPRISED TO SEE JEFF GORDON'S REACTION AT THE END OF THE RACE LAST WEEKEND?

"I didn't see it."

BECAUSE PIT ROAD IS SO TIGHT, WHAT IS A GOOD PIT SELECTION HERE?

"The number one pit seems to be pretty good. That's where I've had my best luck. Anywhere where you can get an opening in or out is really good here. Like you said, it's probably the most difficult pit if not one of the top two. That way if you have to come around somebody you at least have a way to get out, if you don't get squared up and vice versa. If you can at least get in, then you don't have to worry about getting pinched and getting boxed in on getting out. There's probably four good spots on the whole pit lane - that's pit one, the first one coming in and then the two beside the opening - other than that it's really tough."

ON HIS IMPROVEMENT RACING AT THIS TRACK OVER THE YEARS. DID SOMETHING JUST CLICK FOR YOU?

"I'll never say what it was. It is like that. You stumble on something and you realize a lot of times what mistakes you're making when you're driving. This is one of those places that is much harder than it looks. It looks like a real easy place like you run down the straight away, you get on the brakes, you roll through the corner pretty slow and you gas it down the straight away again. It's a much tougher race track than that. It's tough to get the entry and exit right. If you get your entry right and get your exit all messed up or you can have the exit be decent but you overdrive and mess up the entry a lot. This is a much tougher race track than people give it credit for.

"A lot of times you'll just stumble on something. When you feel it in the car for the first time, you realize how you've been doing something wrong all along. What you think you're doing is right is a lot of times isn't right. This is just one of those unique tracks that's not the typical mile and a half track that we go to every week or somewhere else along the country. You actually have to do something different here. It's a different unique race track. It's fun."

WHAT KIND OF ROLE HAVE YOU PLAYED HELPING YOUR ROOKIE TEAMMATES GET ADJUSTED TO THE CUP SERIES?

"They were both pretty much ready to go when I got here. I don't know. I think they were ready before they got here anyways. It's just stuff you got to go through week in and week out and figuring out what's right and what's wrong. I'm available every week. If they're are struggling and J.J. came down after practice we could talk about how our cars are driving. If that kind of input can help him, I'll all for that."

ON THE FUEDING GOING ON. DO YOU FIND IT HUMOROUS OR PATHETIC?

"You've got to remember it's human beings with human emotions. It's no different than the squabbles I hear about amongst you guys (in the media center). One minute you're mad at princess over there and he's mad at her and she's mad at him and all that. It's no different. We just don't care when you guys get mad at each other. It's irrelevant. It's a waste of our time."

ON PRECAUTIONS TAKEN AMONG THE TEAM TO NOT HAVE THE SAME PROBLEMS FROM THE PAST:

"I think we still run the filter that NASCAR helped develop and pretty much once that came in that's really what we've done and used that religiously every where we've go not just here but every place we run at. It's helped us tremendously. We haven't had near the problems we had in the past. Other than that, I'm not sure we've done anything different. I think that's the only thing we've done and that was I think two years ago that we all started using that. It's not the cure to anything but it's made a drastic, huge improvement in what we had to deal with."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart