Winston: GM Racing qualifying quotes

TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "I guess we were second quick and then they found a lug nut loose. But, these guys have been doing a great job in the pits. Today it doesn't really count much, so if they're going to miss one,...


"I guess we were second quick and then they found a lug nut loose. But, these guys have been doing a great job in the pits. Today it doesn't really count much, so if they're going to miss one, today is the day to miss it. They've been having great pit stops all year, so I'm not going to complain a bit about our pit crew. They've been doing an awesome job."

CAN YOU WIN FROM THE BACK? "We've won midget races, sprint car races and now a Winston Cup race from the back, so anything is possible. We've got a good car. This car always races better here than I qualify. I don't think I'm much of a qualifier here at Charlotte. It seems like it comes race time, though, that's when I pick up the pace."


"I kind of made an ass out of myself here a year ago and spun out on pit road, so I've been really focused on this. I was a little too tight on the track. The team did a great job on the pit stop and I did a great job leaving the pits, but my speed on the track wasn't quite what I needed.

"I'm just real proud that we have the NAPA car starting on the front row for The Winston. Starting there is more important than ever because of the fact that you've got to finish in the top 20 to advance to the next race. Starting up front is more important this year than it's ever been due to the changes to the format of the race."

DID YOU MAKE ANY MISTAKES ON YOUR LAPS? "I didn't really make a mistake. My car was just a little tighter than what I hoped for. I drove hard, though, and drove through part of it, but I couldn't drive through all of it. Coming off of four on the second lap, it just pushed with me a little bit and probably cost me some time."

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON MOVING THE WINSTON TO A DIFFERENT RACETRACK? "I think that NASCAR has done a perfect job of guiding this ship for 50 years and if I think I know more about where this race should go than they do, I think I'd be mistaken. I like to think that whatever Mr. France and Mr. Helton and those guys decide to do with this event will be the best for the sport. We might not see it today or tomorrow, but as we go on down the road, if they decide to leave it here, then I'm with them. They haven't made any mistakes and I think people should be less critical of them for what they decide to do. I understand Charlotte wanting to keep it - I like it here. But, if NASCAR thinks it's better for NASCAR for it to move somewhere else, then they've got to think about that and I certainly understand that, too."


"This deal here is so unique with the pit stop and the laps on the track, also. We had some great laps - had the fastest time in both practices - but, we just had a little mistake on pit road that cost us a little bit.

"It's just so hard to make up a little mistake on pit road when you can only get a tenth or two on the racetrack. We've got a great race car. We didn't end up where we wanted to in this qualifying program, but we'll be just fine."


"In practice, we got our car pretty good and we were getting ready to put on a set of tires. All of a sudden the car just went to out of control, so we didn't really know what we with the car. But the guys had a great pit stop. We got off of pit road good, but the laps weren't quite what they needed to be. The guys did a great job and we wouldn't have been close if they wouldn't have had a good pit stop.

"We've got a good spot to start. We're going to do whatever it takes to try to win the race."

HOW DO YOU APPROACH THE FIRST 40-LAP SEGMENT TOMORROW NIGHT? "I think the biggest thing is just to get in the top 20 and make sure that you're in the second segment. Starting in the front is obviously going to be a benefit. It will be good to start up front."


"I've never been on the pole for The Winston, that I know of. I just wanted to get a real good solid effort. If we were on the pole - great. But, anywhere in the top 10 is really good and solid, and says a lot about our team and the total effort. We were off on the race car earlier in the day, but seemed to pick it up pretty good there for qualifying. I'm pretty happy. That's a good solid run."

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THIS RACE? "Everybody is pushing the limit so hard that there is no more left out there on the table and that's what I love so much about it. It reminds me of a sprint race where they drop the green and everybody is running as hard as they can possibly run, passing every chance that they get. It's just all about getting yourself in position towards the end to be in that top 10 group to win this thing."


"We started with a great pit stop. I didn't really get down pit road the way I wanted, but the car is pretty good. We were a tick loose, but that's not anything we can't handle. Maybe instead of 'Preening' away weeds we could have Preened away a couple of tenths. We know what we have to do tomorrow night and we are capable of doing it. Andy [Petree] has a really great organization here. We want to give him and Preen as good a ride as we can."


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Series NASCAR Cup