TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: WHAT HAPPENED? "Greg (Zipadelli) just said we had a mistake. Somehow when the tire carriers got the tires on the wall the right front got put on the left front and the left front on the right...
NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"Greg (Zipadelli) just said we had a mistake. Somehow when the tire carriers got the tires on the wall the right front got put on the left front and the left front on the right front. I knew this set of tires didn't feel as good as the last. Now I know why." ON DROPPING FROM THE TOP FIVE IN POINTS
"There's nothing I can do about it. It's over."
NO. 22 CATERPILLAR PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
ON RESTARTS TODAY
"I just never could get grip of the rear tires. Right there at the end, Nadeau and the '3' car had laid back - shoot, they laid back probably 40 yards - so I saw them coming and there wasn't much I could do at that point. It happened really quick. I probably should have noticed it a little bit faster and been on the brakes back there with them. But I got on the brakes right there and made Nadeau and the '3' car slow up, hoping I could get them in turns one and two. But my car never was good on new tires or right-side tires only for five or six laps. I really needed 10 or 12 laps. Then, my car came on."
DID YOU CONSIDER NOT TAKING TIRES ON THE LAST STOP?
"I'm sure Tommy (Baldwin) was considering everything at that point."
ON YOUR LAST RUN IN A PONTIAC
"It was a good run. The team has had a lot on its plate this summer getting ready for 2001. I've never been involved with an effort that was so intense on the coming year rather than the year that we're actually in. We have done as much work in the preparation for 2001 in the last three or four months than we have going to the races this summer. It has taken away a little bit from our effort, but Pontiac has been a great supporter of the team. GM, in general has been a great supporter of myself since I've been in racing. I've never been in anything but a GM (car), so I appreciate everything they have done for me."
ON BUILDING SUCH A SUBSTANTIAL DURING THE LONG RUN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
"Yeah, that's what we needed was long runs. The guys had done some good pit stops. I think we had a seven and a half second lead with eight laps to go. It was our race to lose or win at that point. We were just trying to dice through the lapped cars and be careful at the same time."
DID NADEAU JUMP THE RESTART?
"I was waiting to see. Everything that NASCAR does, particularly on the racetrack, is for the most part judgment calls. Why one guy gets black-flagged one week and another guy gets black-flagged another week is just a referee call - how they see it. I don't know what the rule is. I don't think he was in front of me at the start finish line - I know he wasn't. You're supposed to pass on the right. I don't know if it's side-by-side - does that mean he's passing or what? You'd have to ask Gary (Nelson) that."
DO YOU WATCH TO THE INSIDE ON A RESTART WHEN YOU'RE LEADING?
"He was already on the inside. When I got on the throttle he was already on the inside of me. At that point, I closed the door on him a little bit. But he was already there before I ever got on the gas."
NO. 22 CATERPILLAR PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
WAS TODAY FRUSTRATING?
"I didn't need to see the caution come out. Any time that you're leading and the caution comes out, you are the sitting duck. If you take on two (tires) and the other guy that's in second place takes on four you've made a bad call. If you don't take any tires and the whole rest of the field comes in you've made a bad call. It's probably always better to be second or third when you come in with just a few laps to go than it is to be leading the race. "I would like to be in victory lane with the team and my family right now, obviously. But we've had the opportunity to win five or six races this year. I know we gave away that second Darlington race, no question about that. We just gave this one away with the caution coming out. But we've had a lot on our plate."
ON DAVE BLANEY
"The '93' has picked up a bunch. Dave (Blaney) and Doug (Randolph) are getting better and that's something that we need. The '88' and the '28' have got it. The '6' and the '99' have got it. The '24' and his two teammates have obviously been working closely together. The better the '93' does, the better that we'll do in the long run, too."
NO. 93 AMOCO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
ON WHAT HAPPENED ON THE LAST RESTART
"I don't know. I thought things were rolling and then we stopped, and I just got in the back of Rusty and ruined my car. I knocked the left front tire off of it."
ON HIS DAY OVERALL
"It was a good car. We had a car that could run fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh all day. Everything was going smooth. Gosh, I though we maybe had a shot at doing something there if I could jump to the outside and go, but...
"I was just going to try to go where the '2' car didn't going into one and see what happens."
ON THE LATE SEASON IMPROVEMENT
"We're getting together like we should be, as far as I'm concerned. Things are looking good - looking great. I couldn't be happier for this bunch of guys. In one way you're sorry that the year is over, but in another way you're awfully happy that things are coming together like they should be."
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO LOOK BACK AT TODAY?
"It's like anything else. You take the good and you learn from the bad. We just didn't get a finish out of it."
NO. 10 AARON'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"We started off and thought we were pretty good. Then we fought it a little bit and then I got into a huge vibration. I wasn't sure what the deal was. Actually we found out that the wheel weights had come off the tire. It was to the point where I thought the tire was coming off and I thought, 'Man, we've got to come in,' because it just kept getting worse. We came in and that put us two and a half laps down. I made the one up, but I was still one down and just kept kicking. Then, we had a yellow and I was still one down, but kept kicking and got it back. But Jerry was just so fast today and he got us back down. But he really helped us out big-time when the yellow came out and he let us get back on the lead lap, which was great. We need to thank those guys 100 times and obviously congratulate him on his first victory."
RELIEVED THIS ROLLER-COASTER SEASON IS OVER?
"It's fine. Now we can regroup and get ready for next year. We've got a lot of things going on - going into a new building, a new sponsor, and a lot of things happening. This isn't a break, but we need this time to go ahead and get that stuff ready."
NO. 23 AT&T/THE DECAL SOURCE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
ON HIS LEADING IN HIS FIRST WINSTON CUP START
"That was pretty exciting there. We decided to stay out and see what we could do. We actually had a pretty good car. We led a couple laps and then fell back to fifth and I got in line again. At that point the car was really good. But just as more rubber got down all day we just ended up tightening up and tightening up and could never get that out of the car. But I guess we finished 22nd and that's not bad. We led a couple laps and finished the race. Now we can look ahead to Speed Weeks."
HOW INTIIMIDATING IS DALE EARNHARDT IN YOU REAR-VIEW MIRROR?
"It's pretty scary. I was up there with a couple of guys - Mark Martin and Steve Park. That was a little nerve-wracking in my first race racing with those guys. But they treated me real good. They could have been a lot worse. They took the air off my spoiler a couple times and made me a little loose, but I guess that's all part of it."