Michigan II: J. Gordon, Stewart post race interview

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS - Finished Second ON HIS RUN: "Well, obviously a great day for us. We were up there battling with Carl Edwards early in the race and having a lot of fun. Thought we had a good car when we were in clean...

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS - Finished Second

ON HIS RUN:

"Well, obviously a great day for us. We were up there battling with Carl Edwards early in the race and having a lot of fun. Thought we had a good car when we were in clean air but when we got in traffic we got out of sequence that one time, man, the car, we just struggled with it. We put four tires on it a couple of times and tried to make some adjustments to it but nothing worked. Then there at the end Steve (Letarte) made some air pressure adjustments, some pretty big swings at it and the car just came to life. I think we started 12th or 13th and were able to finally pass and just make some moves and get good drive-off and get up there. I got fortunate with traffic; I was able to get by a couple guys that maybe were side-by-side and battling. That certainly helped. It was fun running Matt (Kenseth) down there and battling up front. I wish we had a few more laps but that's probably a good make-up for what happened in Chicago. I think that I would have liked to have gotten up there and shown I could pass him clean and race him clean, because I like racing with Matt. But it was a good day for him, good day for us and I'm real happy."

HOW MUCH OF THE LAST RUN WAS BIG-PICTURE RACING?

"These days every race is big-picture racing. We're in such a tight battle that every lap, every position is so important. I fought hard one time today to the lead lap to get those five points. I was trying to do everything we can. But we go to every race fighting as hard as we can to get the best finish that we possibly can. You do that every week and whether you're battling for points or not battling for points, today I saw some cars in front of me that I knew we were battling with in the points but if I didn't have the car to pass them with then it didn't matter. At times in traffic we didn't and there at the end we did."

ON LAP 131, KENSETH DECIDED TO STAY OUT WHILE EVERYONE ELSE PITTED. ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT DIDN'T PROVE COSTLY TO HIM?

"Matt's smooth and knows how to take care of his stuff and that car was working really well up front there. That track position paid off big time for him and it worked for us earlier in the day but we just seemed to lose a little bit there in the end so we wanted to take four. It did pay off for him today but like I said, a few more laps and we might have had him. It's still going to be a good day for both of us. If your car is working right and you've got the position, if he'd have come in then he might have been back there where we were and might not have gotten to the front. When you're the leader, man, that's the toughest call to make."

YOU MENTION CHIGACO. IS THAT STILL ON YOUR MIND?

"Well, I hated that I got into him. I didn't just drive down there and intentionally spin him and as much as he might think different about that, I like racing guys clean and hard for a win and it's always more rewarding to know that you pass a guy by racing him hard, not by just taking him out. That's the only thing that was on my mind that I would have liked to have gone up there and raced with him again and done it a little bit cleaner this time."

***

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

ON HIS RUN:

"Pretty uneventful, for the most part. Even though we started 33rd and ended up third it was a good day for the Home Depot team. I think the differences in pit strategy early helped us a lot with track position and we just kept working on our car and just kept gaining spots every run. Finally got ourselves in a position there at the end to where we knew we could do it in one stop and got good track position that way. Still ended up coming in a second time anyway because of how the cautions laid out but just a solid day. I'm really proud of our guys. We didn't have anything for Jeff (Gordon) or Matt (Kenseth). We definitely made some big gains this weekend."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart