Daytona: Race winner interview

TONY STEWART, No. 20 Armor All Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finished: 1st How much did it help to have your teammate (Kyle Busch) with you in the closing laps? "I just couldn't handle as good as he could -- I think he had the best handling...

TONY STEWART, No. 20 Armor All Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finished: 1st

How much did it help to have your teammate (Kyle Busch) with you in the closing laps?

"I just couldn't handle as good as he could -- I think he had the best handling car out there, he could go anywhere he wanted on the race track. I couldn't and that got us behind early in the race -- we lost the front end. We were battling the balance of the car, but this thing was so fast on the straight-aways. If I could get it to turn and rotate off the corner, I could carry a lot of momentum down the straight-away with this Armor All car. I'm just proud of all the Toyota people and all the work they've done in such a short amount of time to get us all in victory lane. That's twice this week that we've gotten Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas in victory lane. I'm really proud of that -- I'm proud of the effort they're putting into it. This is the only race we're running for Armor All this year so I'm glad we were able to get the pole and win the race for them. I kept thinking we were going to have a one-two finish because Kyle (Busch) was good and I could stay with him.

"We were getting such odd runs toward the end of the race because everyone was trying to back-up and get the big run to make passes. We were carrying so much momentum into turn one that I couldn't even get it to turn -- it pushed up off the bottom. That's when the eight car (Martin Truex Jr.) got down underneath us and the No. 10 (Brian Vickers) car and we kind of got freight-trained to the outside. Once the No. 10 car got hung, I actually liked it and it actually helped my car turn. It was kind of a blessing in disguise to get that momentum to get up front and then I tried to get back down in front of Kyle and keep the two of us together. I felt like no matter what the order was, whether he was leading and I was behind or vice versa, as long as we could stay together then those guys were going to have a hard time with us. I think even if we had another 100 laps to run, they were going to have a hard time as long as Kyle and I were together."

How did the warm temperatures affect the handling of your car today?

"We lost the handle on it about 20 laps into the first run. We never really got to run a lot the other day because of how many sets of tires are allotted. Just trying to keep up with what changes to make and trying not to burn our tires up so we had them for today -- that was our biggest feet."

Can you talk about yourself and Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s abilities to run so well on superspeedways?

"Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. and I have had such good luck together -- we've run one-two in so many races -- at Talladega and even here at Daytona. You always know that when you beat a guy like him -- you've beaten one of the best. It's a huge compliment and he's a great guy and I think we both have a lot of mutual respect for each other when it comes to these superspeedways."

-credit: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Martin Truex Jr. , Brian Vickers , Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing