Continued from part 1 Q: How do you sum up his Chase chances? TONY STEWART: I think it's pretty obvious. When you've got a guy that's won eight races and run as good as he did, it's hard to not count him as a favorite right now. You...
Continued from part 1
Q: How do you sum up his Chase chances?
TONY STEWART: I think it's pretty obvious. When you've got a guy that's won eight races and run as good as he did, it's hard to not count him as a favorite right now. You don't have to be able to solve a Rubik's Cube to figure this equation out. He's on his game right now. He's having a dream year you'd cut off one of your legs almost to have a year like he's having. Everything is going right, and he's driving his heart out. I mean, the kid is up on the wheel every week and making things happen. You know, that's what you've got to do to win a championship.
You build that momentum right now before the Chase starts, it's hard to break that.
Q: I know that y'all were clear of the red, but when you were going down the first stretch, did you think a plane had crashed behind you?
TONY STEWART: There was a lot of stuff out there, obviously, but you know it's all speedy dry and they get the bulk of it up and there's always a little bit of residue, but it was far enough out of the corner that it wasn't a major drama. It sure looked like a major drama when we came through there. I was expecting yellow tape to be strung around it as a crime scene.
That stuff is going to happen, and it sounded like from the spotter talking to us for the 50 minute red flag or whatever it was that we had there, sounded like it was a pretty big mess there for a while.
Q: Kyle has got a little bit of an edge where he can go a little bit more wide open just for wins. You bumped your gap on 12th to over 120 points. Is there a point where you think you'll be able to just go for wins and try to get some bonus points between now and Richmond?
TONY STEWART: I'd love to be in that spot, but I'm afraid we're probably not going to be in that spot to have that just go for broke attitude. The things that you do that get yourself in the Chase, you don't do things different when it comes time to you kind of stay in that mode, but if you have a chance on fuel mileage or trick strategy or something on a day that you might be 5th or 10th place car and you've got a shot with trick strategy to win, you definitely take it. In his situation, you can take that chance.
But I think for us the important thing for our team right now is just the fact of getting back in the top five consistently each week, and if we can do that, then that's the important thing for our team. Right now we're just not in a position where we can take those gambles and take those risks right now.
Q: Tony, Steve Addington kind of joked about we hadn't won in three weeks and we're in a slump, and the slump is finally over. Can you kind of obviously he was laughing at it, but when he goes three races without a win the way he's had this year, it's almost like a slump, isn't it?
TONY STEWART: Yeah, and you love being in that position. I can remember years where we finished second or third and I went home the most miserable person on the face of the earth because I felt like we should have won the race. It makes a year like this year for us makes you respect those years that you have runs like that and you have strings where you're in victory lane a lot.
It's a great position for those guys to be in. I mean, like we said a minute ago, it's a lot of momentum, and momentum is such a big key here in this series. To be able to start the Chase off on the right foot with a lot of momentum is huge.
Q: And one quick question for Marcos, that was the first top five for the Wood Brothers in more than three years, and obviously the best finish for Little Debbie. How much did that team really need that?
MARCOS AMBROSE: Well, I felt bad for folks at Sonoma because I think we were going for a strong Top 10 there for them. But they've had a tough run, there's no doubt about that. I hope I can play my part in helping them get back on track.
But the problem is bigger than one person. This is a tough sport, and it's you've got to be 100 percent committed and have the resources and everything behind you to make it work. I hope they can turn it around, and it's just great that I can give them a bit of a lift. But like I said, they've got a long road ahead, and hopefully they can get it done.
Q: Marcos, I saw you watching the monitors there with the wreck. What do you think of that?
MARCOS AMBROSE: Yeah, that's pretty big. I'm pleased I wasn't in the back. That's just a mess right there, there's nothing you can say. I'm just happy everyone is all right; I guess they are.
Q: For both drivers, getting back to that wreck, just seeing how big it was, did that possibly talk about neither of you felt like you had enough of a run. Did that kind of scare the rest of the field straight for the last couple laps?
TONY STEWART: I'm not sure all of us are smart enough to get that scared when we see something like that happen. You know every week, and especially even you go to Daytona and Talladega, it's almost a given you're going to have one of those a weekend there. And I don't want to speak for Marcos, but I think everybody that's ahead of us is focused on what they're doing and still focused on their game plan and what they've got to do to either move ahead or win the race or whatever situation they're in. If I was worried about getting hurt or worried about getting in a wreck, I'd stay in a rubber room all day and play Wii or something, I don't know.
Q: Marcos, you said this morning that last night was kind of quiet and you went to bed early but you got a lot of phone calls from Australia. What's tonight going to be like for you?
MARCOS AMBROSE: I've got a three year old and a one year old back at home, so if I have too big a night, it's going to be really painful on Monday. I'll have a couple of cans. Everyone was asking me what cans were last night. Beer cans, by the way. Not soda, beer cans. But just really excited. It's just a great weekend, and I'm going to enjoy it when I get back to Charlotte.
I've dragged my family a long way, away from the media, friends and family down home, and it's just a lot of commitment. When you have a weekend like this, it just validates the choices that I've made to come across here and have a go at it. It's a big, bad world out here in NASCAR world, and I'm just pleased that I'm able to have a weekend like this to remember. When it's all said and done, I'll be able to go back home to Tasmania and tell them how good I was at Watkins Glen on one year.
MARCOS AMBROSE: Yeah, we've got a fair chance at getting humbled next week so I'm going to have a really good five days to enjoy it and we'll try and qualify the 21 car in at Michigan and we'll take hold of that 59 car in the Nationwide series, too.
Q: Tony, the last couple weeks some people have started had started to doubt Kyle, thinking, is the pressure getting to him, he hasn't run that well the last couple weeks, and he kind of answered the bell today obviously. Do you feel like he has he's young, but he has what it takes. When the pressure is on here and guys start gaining on him to do that here and to do that the rest of the way?
TONY STEWART: I think so for sure. Obviously being his teammate I get a lot to chance closer to him than a lot of people do. I think you look at the beginning of the season when he was leading almost leading all three divisions in NASCAR, in the national series there. That's a lot of pressure in itself. So I think if it's a question of pressure, I think that's been answered.
You know, I don't think that bothers him. I honestly think he thrives on it. I think he feeds on it and uses it to his advantage. You know, I don't think he's one of those guys that pressure really affects. I think he's a young enough guy and he's so motivated to win that I don't even know if he even feels pressure. I think the only time he feels pressure is if somebody is up leaning on him. I think that's the only pressure he feels right now. He's just riding a huge momentum wave right now, and it's hard for anything to affect you when you're having a season like this.
Q: Marcos, yesterday you mentioned that you were going to celebrate, that the beer clock was ringing or something like that. I was wondering, how many did you have, and are you going to make it a tradition, because two good days in a row?
MARCOS AMBROSE: I'm heading straight to Margaritaville (laughter).
TONY STEWART: Be careful on this one. I said I was going through a case once and it went through like crazy.
MARCOS AMBROSE: I've got two little girls at home and I'm going to wake up tomorrow and have a great day with them and just enjoy it. I will celebrate it with my crew when we get back to Charlotte and I'll celebrate with my family, but we've got a race next week.
I've been down this road before and races come and go, and you've got to try and stay level. You don't want to get too high when the going is good and you don't want to get too low when the going is bad. We're going to enjoy it. I'll speak to my dad here in a minute back in Australia who's probably waiting for the phone call so I can tell him all about it.
Just really excited that we finished the deal. I really just wanted to finish today, especially there the last 15 odd laps there. I didn't want to ruin the day by making mistakes, so I just wanted to finish, and we've done that. All my guys on the Wood Brothers side should be proud, and it's going to be great to enjoy it on Monday.
Q: Marcos, Boris Said says he's going to do the Bathurst 1000 this year. Are you doing it against him?
MARCOS AMBROSE: No, he's actually running with a friend of mine down there. He's going to really enjoy that. Boris is a great road racer and he gets out there and tries all these different tracks. He's raced a lot of the world. He said to me before he stopped talking to me after Mexico that he really wanted to do Bathurst and was looking forward to doing that. He'll really enjoy that race, it's a lot of fun. It's a shame I can't go back there and do it but my focus is really here in America now, and one day I'd like to go back and try and conquer the mountain down there, but good on Boris having a go at it.
THE MODERATOR: Tony, Marcos, thank you for your time. Thank you for putting on an outstanding performance for us today. Thank you.