NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
THE MATTHEW & DANIEL HANSEN 400
RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
APRIL 29, 2011
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/OFFICE DEPOT CHEVROLET met with media and discussed his upcoming Prelude to the Dream event, upcoming drivers and how they impress veteran drivers, practice sessions, and more. Full Transcript:
WERE YOU GUYS WORKING ON QUALIFYING RUNS OUT THERE IN THAT PRACTICE?
“No we didn’t work on qualifying runs until the last fifteen minutes.”
DO YOU LIKE WHERE YOU ARE AND HOW THE CAR IS?
“I don’t know, I think we still need to figure out some stuff for the race and I am not concerned about the qualifying stuff as much. I don’t get too worked up over that stuff as much as I do the race trim.”
HOW MUCH DO YOU GUYS USE THIS RACE AS A PRACTICE OR A TEST FOR WHEN YOU COME BACK IN THE FALL FOR THE FINAL RACE BEFORE THE CHASE?
“I would say probably quite a bit but I am still trying to worry about this weekend. I am not worried about the fall race because the thing is if you don’t do it right now, and get the points now you may not be in position to worry about it when we come back in the fall. I think you have to treat this race with the same importance that you do the second time we come.”
ARE THE FINISHES A LITTLE MISLEADING TO HOW YOU GUYS ARE RUNNING NOW?
“I don’t know. You know at Phoenix we ran good in the spring but in Martinsville we were terrible this year so I think we have some work to do and I feel the short track program is probably the weakest program right now so I am hoping the weekend will be a little better.”
IS IT A LUCK THING OR SOMETHING ELSE?
“I don’t know, it doesn’t matter because at the end of the day its where you end up so I still think we have a ways to go.”
ARE YOU GUYS BUILDING NEW CARS LIKE MANY OF THE OTHER ORGANIZATIONS ARE?
“You will have to ask (crew chief) Darian (Grubb); that is his department.”
HOW ABOUT YOUR MOM, DOES SHE STILL RUN YOUR FAN CLUB?
“She actually runs our foundation so she is real active with everything we do so I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’ve always enjoyed having her be a part of what I do on the racing side too so I wouldn’t trade her in.”
REGARDING THE GRAND-AM CONTINENTAL TIRE RACE AT VIR, DO YOU RECALL TRYING TO SHOW THE VETERAN DRIVERS YOUR STUFF WHEN YOU WERE A YOUNGER DRIVER?
“I don’t think it mattered who was out there because you are still out there trying to win the race and I don’t think it matters who is out there in the car next to you because you’re still trying hard; especially in a race that was big as the race was last night to a lot of those guys. You aren’t going to leave anything on the table and those guys didn’t leave anything on the table. Some of them went too far but I don’t think it mattered who it was in the other cars because you are still going to drive that hard.
“I think as time goes on you learn what to do with your situation and not worrying about who it is around you.”
WHY DO YOU THINK THEY CALL DARLINGTON THE TRACK TOO TOUGH TO TAME?
“You already know the answer to that one. I mean just look at the wall and it will tell you.”
YOU HAVE THE PRELUDE COMING. ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT THE LINEUP? IS IT GOING TO BE BIGGER AND BETTER THIS YEAR?
“I am always excited about it and last night was a good preview of why we do what we do and it’s fun to have a night where we go and are not worried about points and not worried about anything but having a good time. Definitely looking forward to it and I haven’t been on dirt very much this year so definitely excited to get going again.”
ARE YOU STILL LOOKING FOR A SPONSOR FOR THAT EVENT?
“Yes we are still looking for a sponsor but we are going to run the event no matter what.”
ON ORGANIZING AND PREPARING FOR THE PRELUDE
“Yeah, it’s a hard thing. The event last night that Denny (Hamlin) had (Short Track Showdown at RIR for his foundation) was a lot more complicated because you have a lot different mixture of people involved, where our deal is an invitation race. So, it’s easier for us. But I thought they did a good job with it and considering all the rain they had last night. They had a great race and a great finish to it and anytime you’re putting on a charity race like that, it’s all you can ask for.”
SOME OF THE GUYS SAID IT WAS A WEIRD RACE BECAUSE THEY WERE IN SOMEBODY ELSE’S CAR
“That’s what I did all my life was for somebody else’s car. It might be somebody’s car one night and somebody else’s car the next night and somebody you didn’t even meet the next night. That’s what we did to get to this level.”
WHEN YOU WON YOUR FIRST CUP RACE, WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR HEAD? DID YOU FEEL LIKE MORE WINS WERE GOING TO COME?
“Well, it’s like getting over a hill. The first one is the hard part and then once you get that first one you feel established. You feel that you’ve earned your right to be there and stay there. Until you do that, it’s kind of hard sometimes feeling like you belong, and whether you’re going to have that opportunity to stay. So you get that first win under your belt and it makes it a lot easier.”
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