TONY STEWART, NO. 24 OFFICE DEPOT/OLD SPICE CHEVROLET met with media and discussed racing in the Chase, the tight point battle, and more. HOW WAS PRACTICE? AND WHAT ADJUSTMENTS, IF ANY, DO YOU NEED TO MAKE? "Well, we've only got an hour and...
TONY STEWART, NO. 24 OFFICE DEPOT/OLD SPICE CHEVROLET met with media and discussed racing in the Chase, the tight point battle, and more.
HOW WAS PRACTICE? AND WHAT ADJUSTMENTS, IF ANY, DO YOU NEED TO MAKE?
"Well, we've only got an hour and a half; we haven't been here very long. I think we're decent. We've got a good starting spot off where we were in the spring and feel like we've got something we can work with. Let's get through today and see how good a job we can do in qualifying and then we'll go into tomorrow and start our race stuff again and see if we can make it better than it was today."
EVERYBODY HAS MADE THESE COMMENTS LIKE 'ANYBODY BUT THE NO. 48' ABOUT JIMMIE JOHNSON RUNNING FOR A FIFTH CHAMPIONSHIP. LAST WEEK KEVIN HARVICK JOKED ABOUT SOMEBODY ELSE NEEDING TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP FOR IT TO BE RELEVANT TO THE FANS. WHERE DO YOU THINK ALL THAT COMES FROM?
"I just laugh at everybody about it. The whole idea here is to go out and win races and win championships and the guy has been good at it for four years. So, I don't know how you can say they guy doing what he's supposed to do, and doing what all of us want to do, how you can say it's bad. That's where I stand on that."
AND REGARDING THE CHASE, DO YOU THINK EVERYBODY IS FINALLY LEARNING HOW TO RACE THE CHASE?
"That's the thing everybody has asked since day one. It's not a hard concept to understand. It's just a 10-race season, basically. You race in that first 26 weeks to get yourself in there and then it's a short 10-week season. So it's not like people had to learn how to do this. Everybody in this garage area raced somewhere else before they got here; and raced for championships no matter whether it's 10 races long or 120 races long like the World of Outlaws. So, they all know how to do it but it's just a matter of doing the job for those 10 weeks."
ARE YOU TRYING ANYTHING DIFFERENT TOWARDS NEXT YEAR RIGHT NOW?
"I'm still trying to win races this year. We're just staying the course right now, in all honesty. We've still got places we're still racing for in the championship too, so we're just trying to get the best finishes we can get."
ON THE POINTS BATTLE BEING TIGHTER THIS YEAR THAN LAST YEAR AT THIS TIME WHEN JIMMIE JOHNSON HAD A PRETTY BIG LEAD AT THIS POINT
"I know we're not in contention so it's fun for me to watch too and watch to see who's got a chance to win this thing. Its three great guys and three great teams and organizations right now that still have a really good shot. It's anybody's ballgame right now."
-source: gm racing