Michigan II: Points leader post-race interview

Tony Stewart -- ...

Tony Stewart -- #20 The Home Depot Chevrolet
5th position

NOT A WIN, BUT A TOP FIVE TODAY That's why we're smiling. A top 5 for the Home Depot Chevrolet is good. You know, we got up to second there which I was really proud of but just couldn't stay there at the end with all the pit strategy. Just really happy with team. To start 36 and end up in the top 5 is a pretty good day, I'd say.

ISN'T IT HARD WHEN RACES LIKE THIS COME DOWN TO FUEL STRATEGY MORE? Well, that's part of racing. That's part of it. It is kind of frustrating to a certain degree, but at the same time we could have all could have came in and got fuel like everybody else at the end of that deal, so you know, it worked for two guys and for us we lost three spots, but like I said, you can't not smile when you come out of here with a top 5 finish today.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR RACE Really happy with it, honestly. You know, we had a good car. We had to work on it all day to make it fast, but starting 36th and getting to second there. You know, it was a smart move by the #19 and the #10 to gamble and they made that and it paid off really well for them. So, we only lost three spots and ended up with a top 5 so definitely still leaving here with a smile on our face.

RE: CHASE FORMAT Why are asking me that? They're not going to change it if we like it or don't like it. Let's not make controversy. It is what it is, it's an exciting format. It gives the guys the guys that are ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th to get their teams and sponsors a lot of publicity now that they need. So, we're in year two of this. Let's cut the controversy and I'm excited that we're going to be in it. Mathematically, we're not not going to be in it. I'm excited that we're in a position where we're locked in already.

RE: DEBRIS ON THE TRACK DURING THE RACE? Must be your first Michigan race. Every year that we come here there's a lot of wrappers and stuff. It's just the layout of the track and the majority of the grandstands are on the west side and the wind is blowing from the west to the east so it's going to blow it on the race track and through the catch fences. I wouldn't say it was any worse than it typically is here. It was pretty much the normal amount of debris. I've seen it worse, I've seen it less. With as windy as it was, to be honest I expected it to be a lot worse in all reality.

IS IT A RELIEF TO BE OUT OF THE LIMELIGHT FROM THIS HOT STREAK? Let's just put it this way. I don't give a blank. It doesn't matter. Hey, just the fact that we're running this good. I don't care whether the limelight is there or not, in case you guys didn't realize, we don't show up just for you guys each week. We show up for our sponsors and for our teams and for the points and the glory and the girls and everything else involved. So, I don't really care. It really doesn't matter to me whether you guys put me in the limelight or not this week or not. I still did what I wanted to do and that's leave with a smile on my face.

Greg Zipadelli , Crew Chief -- #20 The Home Depot Chevrolet

AS A CREW CHIEF, WHAT WAS THE THINKING BEHIND WHEN TO PIT, ETC AT THE END OF THE RACE? We were waiting to see who was going to pit-who didn't pit and who was going to go for it. We kind of weeded it out to there were too many cars sitting out there riding around. We kind of played it safe. We didn't really think we could make it on fuel. If we went to one or two to go and took a couple seconds of fuel, we probably would have ended up racing for third. Instead, we put tires on and got a top 5 out of it. So, we lost a couple of spots from where we ran or where we could have run, but that's part of it. You know, depending on where you are and what's going on is how aggressive you need to be and we just kind of played it on the safe side.

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart