Michigan: Stewart press conference

TONY STEWART, HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 2nd: NOTE: Stewart, last week's winner at Pocono, qualified second, nearly a full mile per hour behind his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate. "There's some back- slapping I've got to do from...

TONY STEWART, HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 2nd:
NOTE: Stewart, last week's winner at Pocono, qualified second, nearly a full mile per hour behind his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate.

"There's some back- slapping I've got to do from last week [from his victory at Pocono]. I forgot probably the biggest group that's helped make some big changes in our organization over the winter. I need to thank GM and Chevrolet. I didn't get a chance in Victory Lane or forgot to thank the Monte Carlo Group last week. I got some phone calls at the shop last week, so I need to let all those people know that we appreciate it."

"This Monte Carlo has been unbelievable. It's the best-balanced car I've ever driven in Winston Cup and we couldn't do the things we're doing without them. This is the best I've ever qualified here. The first time I've driven the new Monte Carlo here, and this is the result. Between the engine shop and the fab shop at home and all the groups that are working on these Monte Carlos, it's just a great group."

TALK ABOUT YOUR LAP:

"That's all I had. I don't think I could have squeezed any more out of it. That's as fast as we could go today, and this Home Depot Monte Carlo is pretty bad. We just go out and take what it give us each week. No matter what happens today {in qualifying], I think Sunday is going to be a pretty good day for us. The car feels really good."

"I'm still trying to figure out how he [Labonte] does what he does. He is the only guy I've ever seen who consistently goes out there every week and pick up three-quarters of a second from practice. I walked down to his car during practice. He was quick time and we were second at the time. He's sitting in his car on jack stands. I walked up and asked him, 'Are you doing your normal deal? You're going to go out there and pick up three-quarters of a second during your timed lap If you are, I'm not going to work on my car anymore. I'm wasting my time down here and hanging my neck out for nothing.' He assured me he wasn't going to get three-quarters of a second, and instead he just gets six-tenths. I basically quit working on my car, and so we're second. I couldn't run anywhere close to what he ran. There's no way. He's got something I don't have, and it's not equipment-wise, I don't think."

IS HE THE GUY TO BEAT SUNDAY?

"If he can do what he did in one lap 200 times, he'll beat everybody. There's a lot of variables that go into Sunday. Today, it's one lap. You have to hit your entry twice and your exit twice. Sunday, you have to do it 400 times."

ARE WE GETTING INTO THE STRETCH NOW WHERE YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT THE CHAMPIONSHIP?

"From our standpoint, we have to go out and worry about one race at a time. I haven't looked at the point sheet for about eight weeks. Don't care. All I care about doing is going out and trying to do what we did last week and that's winning races. To me, that's the No. 1 most important thing the rest of the year is going out and winning races. Wherever we end up at the end of the year, we end up. It's not like we can do anything different. We're doing the best we can do right now and what we've got is what we've got. After last week, I'm pretty tickled to death. I'm pretty tickled today. I'm not happy with the way the season has gone, but every year there's probably 30 guys that aren't exactly tickled to death with the way their season has gone. It's kind of hard to have it go your way all the time."

-gmracing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing