Charlotte Motor Speedway
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET met with media and discussed practice, the workload of being in Charlotte for nearly 2 weeks, and more.
ARE YOU GOING TO BE AT SPEED STREET TOMORROW NIGHT? “Yes.”
WHAT’S PLAYING? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO BE DOING? “I have no idea. I’ll know when I get there.”
HAVE YOU BEEN A PART OF THAT IN THE PAST? WHAT SORT OF EXPERIENCE HAS IT BEEN? “Yeah, but you’ve got to remember I’m more worried about trying to figure out what I’m doing in my race car right now. I’m worried about my race car. I’m not worried about all this other stuff. This is ‘Hell Week’ being in Charlotte. We don’t do anything but work all week for two and a half weeks. So, it’s non-stop. We’re just happy when we can be at the track and can finally get a break.”
... we’re worried about this week and not what we’re doing next week ...
MATT KENSETH SAID 600 MILES IS REALLY LONG WHEN YOU’RE CAR IS NOT DOING WHAT YOU WANT IT TO “500 miles is a long time when you’re car’s not right. I’m not sure that we’re practicing in the heat of the day here for qualifying tonight; so that’s why we’ve got Saturday to work on the race stuff.”
WITH THIS HEAT, IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN USE FROM LAST WEEK THAT YOU’RE GOING TO BRING OVER? “Look in your archives. Every year everybody tells you ‘Yes’ on that. That’s what everybody says. That’s what everybody said last week. It’s the same answer this week. Log this answer for the rest of my life that yes, everything that we learned last week we will use toward this week for the rest of my life. That’s what we’ll do.”
OK “That’s a given. Everybody is going to do that. Everybody is going to look off their notes last week because we’re running the same track two weeks in a row. And they’re both ending at night. So it’s as consistent as you can get. I know you have to ask but I have to answer it that way because I get tired of answering the same thing every May the same question.”
HOW IS KANSAS DIFFERENT FROM THIS TRACK IN YOUR APPROACH? “It’s shaped different (laughs); it’s a whole different race track. Even the tracks that are shaped the same as Charlotte race differently. I mean Atlanta races different, Texas races different; and Kansas is totally shaped different than here. So it’s a whole different place.”
I KNOW IT’S SHAPED DIFFERENT, BUT HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FOR YOU? WHAT DO YOU DO DIFFERENTLY? “The handling characteristics are different. Man, I don’t even know what kind of answer you want for that because it’s kind of far out there. I don’t even know when Kansas is compared to now.”
IT’S NEXT WEEK “Okay, I don’t even know. Like I say, we’re worried about this week and not what we’re doing next week at Kansas or the week after that wherever we’re at then. We’ve got 600 miles we’re trying to work on this week.”
HOW IS YOUR CAR? “I think it’s pretty good. I’m pretty happy with the balance so far in race trim. It’s just staying focused on what we’re doing. There have been so many distractions in the last week and a half, and everybody wants to talk about Kansas or something else that doesn’t pertain to anything that we’re doing right now, that it’s hard to focus on it.”
WITH YOUR OWNER’S HAT ON, CAN I ASK YOU ABOUT DANICA PATRICK? “You can’t ask me anything about Danica. It doesn’t have anything to do with what I’m doing here today. If you have something to ask me about what we’re doing here today, feel free. And I’ll stay here as long as you want. Do you have anything else?