Friday, August 2, 2013

Tony Stewart talks Pocono

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES

GOBOWLING.COM 400

POCONO RACEWAY

TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE 
TRANSCRIPT
AUGUST 2, 2013

 TONY STEWART, NO. 14 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway and discussed his sprint car accident this week, the first practice session and other topics. Full Transcript:


HOW ARE YOU FEELING?  THAT CRASH LOOKED REALLY NASTY TO US MORTALS WHO DON’T RACE CARS:
“You mortals have got to learn, you guys need to watch more sprint car videos and stuff.  It was not a big deal. It’s starting to get annoying this week about that so that was just an average sprint car wreck.  When they wreck they get upside down like that.  That was not a big deal.”

 

WE DO JUST CARE ABOUT YOU:
“I appreciate that, but I promise you if there is something to report I will let you know.  I guarantee you there were 15-20 guys across the country that flipped just like that this weekend and were just fine just like we were.  If it’s bad we will let you guys know.  That was not bad at all. I raced the next night and ran fifth and the World of Outlaw race.  It was not bad.”

 

HOW WERE YOU IN FIRST PRACTICE?
“Ryan (Newman) was good.  I wasn’t as good as I wanted to be obviously.  From about eighth to 20th is really close within like two tenths.  I feel like we’ve got the room to gain for the qualifying run and we will see where we go from there.  I thought in race trim we had decent speed.”

 

THERE HASN’T BEEN A YOUNG GUY COME IN AND CHALLENGE THE VETERANS IN CUP FOR A WHILE.  DO YOU THINK THE SPORT KIND OF NEEDS THAT TO INFUSE SOME NEW BLOOD INTO THE SPORT?
“I mean I think you’ve got new blood in it.  You’ve got Ricky Stenhouse, you’ve got Danica (Patrick) and you’ve got the Dillon’s that are coming in.  I don’t think there is a lack of new people coming in every year.  I think from that side we are in pretty good hands in all reality.  I think there are plenty of people that are coming and that are on the radar that are going to be coming soon enough that will answer that for you.”

 

HOW DO YOU FEEL LIKE RACING SPRINT CARS HAVE HELPED KYLE LARSON AS HE HAS WORKED HIS WAY UP.  DOES THAT HAVE ANY IMPACT?  WHAT DO YOU SEE FROM KYLE (LARSON) WHEN YOU RACE IN SPRINT CARS WITH HIM AND SEE HERE?
“He just has a ton of car control.  I see things in him that you see from sprint car drivers.  I get to see him drive three of four different types of cars now.  I see a lot of things that I like to see.” 

 

AT ROAD COURSE EVENTS WE DON’T SEE THE ‘RINGER’S’ HAVE THE SAME KIND OF SUCCESS THEY USED TO.  HOW HAVE THE CUP REGULARS IMPROVED?
“Oh immensely, I mean I just think everybody takes the road course races a lot more serious than they used to. They put a lot of effort into it.  It used to be they used to take one of their worst cars and that was their road course car.  Now guys build new cars, they go and do as much testing for road course races as they do, if not more, for oval races.  There is a lot more emphasis put on it now.  I think the drivers have really looked at it and said that this is something that if you don’t put effort into it you are going to be in the back of these things all day.  The drivers and teams take it pretty serious.”

 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE NO. 48’S ABILITY TO STAY CONSISTENTLY COMPETITIVE AND FAST EVERY WEEK?
“I don’t know, but I wish we knew because we would be doing it ourselves.  They’ve just got the same combination.  I mean they have the same driver/crew chief combination that they have had a ton of success with and they just keep tweaking off of that. They just work really well together and understand each other well.”

 

HOW HARD IS THAT TO DO IN THIS SPORT?
“It’s very hard.  This is a performance based industry.  Any time things aren’t right you are always looking to make changes to make things better.  In their case they have been doing it well long enough that they haven’t had to do that.”

 

DID YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR SCHEDULE FOR NEXT WEEK?  YOUR RACING SCHEDULE BECAUSE OF THE DAMAGE TO YOUR SPRINT CAR?
“We were going to run this weekend, but we have some races next week that we are obligated to go to so we had to make sure that we…”

 

SO YOU HAD TO CUT OUT SOME?
“Yeah, had to cut two of them out this weekend.”

 

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO INSTEAD?
“I don’t know (laughs).  I thought about that last night when Michael Waltrip and I were flying back from Paducah (Kentucky) the race we ran last night.  It’s like ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do for a whole weekend off now’.  It’s going to be a lazy schedule now.”

 

WAS THAT THE MOST PAINFUL PART OF THAT?
“Yeah, that was the worst part of the week was when I was told that I wasn’t going to be allowed to race this weekend because we only had one new car left.”

 

COULD IT BE POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO RUN KNOXVILLE?
“Not the Nationals.”

 

NOT SATURDAY NIGHT BECAUSE THE CUP SERIES IS IN MICHIGAN?
“No, we are in Watkins Glen so if it was Michigan we would have a better shot at it. Watkins Glen it’s just too far by the time you get done and by the time we would get back.  It would be 5:30/6:00 AM by the time we got to bed.  That is too late to be trying to run a road course race the next day.”

 

OBVIOUSLY PEOPLE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT POINTS AND SITUATIONS AND YOU GUYS WILL WORRY ABOUT POINTS AFTER EACH RACE.  DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR TEAM IS SEASONED ENOUGH NOT TO WORRY ABOUT IT?
“I think we are just worrying about… I think we look at it like everybody else does.  At the same time I think we look at it doesn’t matter if you get in the Chase if you are not going to be able to do something when you get there.  We are still looking what do we have to do to make things better.  If we get our cars working like we want them to the points will take care of itself.  I don’t think we are looking at it in any type of panic situation we are still just trying to figure out how to make our cars better.”

 

WHERE DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE AS A CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDER AT THIS POINT WITH ROOM TO GROW?
“Exactly, that is exactly where I feel like we are at. I feel like we still have room to grow, but last week having Ryan (Newman) win the race and us run fourth that was a big stride that way.  The way he ran in practice today is a good indication of that as well.  We just have to keep working at it.  The hard part is it’s a moving target.  The technology keeps moving around so what you think you are looking for can change.  It’s just finding that next step.”

 

WHEN DO YOU HAVE TO START THINKING ABOUT A CREW CHIEF FOR NEXT YEAR FOR KEVIN HARVICK OR TEAM GUYS FOR NEXT YEAR?  WHEN WILL YOU START WORKING ON THAT?
“We have already started working on that.  You have to much earlier now a days because it just seems like everybody starts working on driver changes and crew changes a lot earlier than they used to.”

 
THERE IS A LOT OF SPECULATION AS TO WHO MIGHT BE WORKING WITH HIM.  WHAT KIND OF CREW CHIEF DO YOU THINK HE NEEDS?
“We are working on that at the shop.  We have an idea of what we need.  It’s just a matter of going out and getting them now.”  

 
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)

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