Pontiac Indianapolis Brickyard test quotes 2002-07-16

TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: ON THE PROGRESS OF TESTING BOTH THE CHEVY AND PONTIAC "Not bad. We're just trying to sort through a lot of things and trying different combinations on both cars, so it's hard to compare the two...


ON THE PROGRESS OF TESTING BOTH THE CHEVY AND PONTIAC "Not bad. We're just trying to sort through a lot of things and trying different combinations on both cars, so it's hard to compare the two right now. Both have made progress and we're pretty excited that we've got a Pontiac that's been good here in the past that we're making progress with, along with having a new car that we're not so familiar with and making progress with it as well. So, I'd say we're having a pretty good test session."

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE CHANGE? "Since I've been involved in NASCAR (since 1996) I've always been in a Pontiac. I've never been in anything else so it's new for me. You have to explore options though. When you're having a season like we are, where we're struggling and don't feel like we're where we need to be, you have to start eliminating variables and trying to find answers on where you are missing the boat. So, right now we're just trying to eliminate variables more than anything."

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE TRACK TODAY? "It's not much different than yesterday. It's getting a little more rubber down. With the grooves in the track it seems as if it keeps the rubber on the racetrack so it's typical Indianapolis. When it gets a lot of rubber in the surface the conditions change a little bit."

THOUGHTS ON BEING BACK AT THE BRICKYARD "It's not really one of my favorite tracks as far as the way it's laid out and the shape of it, but the history behind this place is what really makes it special. The race itself is a very difficult race because of the flat corners and four corners versus having 280-degree corners, so it makes it a little bit more difficult, but it does make it a lot more special when you can actually win a race here."


THOUGHTS ON THE DRIVER'S MEETING "They talked about what they were doing to improve the safety of the drivers. They are working hard on the compartments of the cars and trying to make them safer for the drivers. They are also talking a lot about the safety of the walls at every track we go to. We have one here at Indy, and I think it will be a big test when we come back here and race and see how it affects the cars when they do hit them."

WILL YOU MAKE ANY CHANGES AS A RESULT OF THE MEETING? "Yeah, I will probably wear more undergarments just from what they showed us on the firesuit testing. But other than that I think it's just a matter of keeping up to date with stuff - making sure your seats are mounted correctly and making sure all of your braces are secure. But I don't have a team to bring this to so once I do, I will have more time to be at the shop and work on my stuff."

HOW TOUGH IS IT NOT TO BE WITH A SET TEAM? "It sucks in a way but you can't do anything about it. My deal happened really early in the season when I got let go and we mutually agreed to split. So, I have to suffer and sit out a little bit and wait and see what happens. Hopefully I will land on my feet somewhere good. It is good though that I have been racing every weekend. I'm with this team for four races and that will help me not get rusty on my driving. I've talked to about every owner. I'm anxious to start working with someone - I'm ready to go."

ON RUNNING THE HOT LAP IN YESTERDAY'S TEST SESSION "This is a great racetrack. I love this place. But just because I ran good yesterday doesn't mean I'm going to have a job tomorrow. I'm working hard at it and we're happy that the car is running good."

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH TESTING? "Yeah, we're happy with how the Grand Prix ran yesterday and today. We're actually packing up early and heading home. We worked on qualifying and ran 181 mph and that's very fast and our race trim is superb. So we're going to pack it in and get ready for Loudon this weekend."


THOUGHTS ON THE TWO DAYS OF TESTING "I think we got pretty much every thing accomplished that we wanted to. We've been able to work on race stuff and qualifying stuff. Of course with the temperature change this place is almost like Charlotte - it changes drastically from when the sun is out to the end of the day. You haveto time it right to where you are working on your qualifying early and then again late in the day and hopefully you'll get a good run in. We've been fortunate to work on both. We're pretty happy with how things went these past two days."

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON A POSSIBLE WIN AT THE BRICKYARD? "I tell you what, when you are in Winston Cup racing it means a lot to win any of the races. There are 43 great cars out at every race week in and week out. If you're off even a little bit you are going to the back. It's very competitive and you have to be on your toes all of the time. But to come to Indy and win - home of Conseco, plus A.J. Foyt has a lot of history here - so yeah, it would be pretty neat to come here and win."


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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers A.J. Foyt