CHEVY NSCS AT KENTUCKY – Tony Stewart Press Conference Transcript



American Muscle


JULY 7, 2011

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET met with members of the media at Kentucky Speedway and discussed the bumps at Kentucky, the addition of the Nationwide Series at Indianapolis and other topics. Full transcript:

HOW HAS TESTING BEEN TODAY?: “It’s been a challenge so far, but you expect it to be. It’s not supposed to be easy and that’s why we’re here an extra day.”

WHAT ARE YOU LEARNING TODAY?: “That we still have a lot of work to do.”

WHAT IS THIS RACE TRACK LIKE?: “It’s really, really bumpy so it’s been a struggle to get the car to go through the bumps really well. It’s bumpier than anywhere that we go as far as mile-and-a-halves are concerned. That’s what’s fun about it too is that it’s got character and makes us have to work on making it go through the bumps better.”

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES TO THE DRIVERS ON A BUMPY TRACK?: “Getting it to do the things it’s supposed to do through the bumps.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THIS TRACK TO HAVE THE CUP SERIES HERE?: “It’s huge. I only live about an hour and 20 minutes from here so I know how important it is. This is an area that has deep racing roots. A lot of dirt track racing roots around here. To have an event like this is huge to this area. Very deserving to be here.”

WHAT ARE THE FANS LIKE AT THIS TRACK?: “This is deep racing country. This is going to be a cool event because there are a lot of people that have deserved a race in this area that haven’t had one and it’s neat to be here and be part of the first one.”

IS IT GOOD THAT SO MANY DRIVERS ARE SEEING THIS TRACK FOR THE FIRST TIME?: “I don’t think it matters. There’s a reason that all these guys in this series got to this level. Because they can learn how to figure it out pretty quick. Having six hours today of practice definitely is going to help us all for sure.”

IS IT FUN TO BE SOMEWHERE NEW?: “It’s another mile-and-a-half so it’s not like we’re seeing something totally new. We need less mile-and-a-halves and more tracks that have their own characteristics that are not copied off of something else. It’s still fun to be here though.”

WOULD IT BE SPECIAL TO WIN THE INAUGURAL RACE AT KENTUCKY?: “It’s definitely special. There’s only one first race. It doesn’t matter who wins after that, there is only one guy that can win the first race here. Definitely makes it special for whoever wins.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT NATIONWIDE CARS AT INDIANAPOLIS?: “I think it’s cool for IMS, I’m kind of sad for ORP though because I know from my history at ORP that was a big event that we all looked forward to as USAC drivers getting to watch the Nationwide guys come. I think it’s cool, but it’s kind of mixed emotions on both sides.”

IS THAT A NATIONWIDE RACE YOU WOULD LIKE TO RUN?: “Who knows. Too early to tell. I’m too worried about doing what I’m doing here right now.”

HOW DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’VE DONE SO FAR THIS YEAR?: “Terrible. We’ve had a terrible year. Not been anything like what we’ve been used to by any means.”

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?: “If I knew that, I would have fixed it, don’t you think? You’re new to this racing stuff aren’t you?”

WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE WITH THE CHALLENGES?: “You just keep doing what we’re doing today and keep trying things. That’s what a test day is all about. You have to try things and it’s hard on a race weekend to have that flexibility to do that. When you have a day like today where you actually have the data acquisition on the cars and have six hours of practice, you can try a lot of different things that you don’t feel comfortable doing on a regular race weekend because you don’t have that much time to divide to that kind of attention.”


WHAT IS YOUR IMPRESSION OF FUEL INJECTION COMING INTO THE SPORT?: “Doesn’t matter to me. I don’t care. We’re all running the same thing so as long as it’s the same for everybody I don’t care.”

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MORE OR LESS ROAD COURSES ON THE SCHEDULE?: “I like the ones we have. I’d love to have the opportunity to go to Road America too. Obviously, you see what the challenges are with our formats of green-white-checkered and how it can be a train wreck if you get in a fuel mileage deal at the end. I like them. I’ve always enjoyed the road courses and we’ve had really good luck at road courses. You know I would welcome them.”


WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF LOUDON?: “It’s a trade off of whether your car rotates good through the center and seems like if you can get it to rotate through the center then the challenge is trying to keep the forward drive in it. If you get good forward drive then you are normally tight in the center. That’s the two variables you fight the most and the trade off that you fight to find that balance between the two and how much you can give up in one area to get it in the other area.”

HOW TOUGH WAS LOUDON ON YOU LAST YEAR?: “No race that you lose is ever easy. They never get easier, they don’t get less tough.”

ANY MORE FRUSTRATING?: “Not with the way this year’s been. There’s been a lot of stuff to be frustrated about.”

IS KENTUCKY ANY DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER MILE-AND-A-HALF TRACKS?: “Yeah, they don’t have enough SAFER barriers yet. Not near enough SAFER barriers for what we’re doing here and how close the wall is to the race track. Hopefully, none of us will have to test that out and see anything.”

HOW MUCH BUMPIER IS THIS TRACK THAN THE OTHERS?: “It’s definitely a challenge, but that’s what makes it fun for these crews to try to figure out how to make the cars go through the bumps. It’s an added element that you have every week, but it’s more exaggerated here than we’ve been anywhere else.”

WHERE ARE THERE THE MOST BUMPS?: “I don’t know, I haven’t found a spot where there wasn’t bumps yet You aren’t going to go around the bumps. They’re everywhere right now.”

WHERE DOES THE TRACK NEED TO ADD SAFER BARRIER?: “Anywhere there’s a concrete wall. It’s that way every race track you go to. They’ll get there. They’ve done a lot in a short amount of time to get ready for this race. They’ve done an awesome job of doing that, but it’s still got some work to do too.”

HOW MUCH ARE YOU LOOKING AT THE WILD CARD OPTION FOR THE CHASE?: “I’m trying not to look at it at all. I want to be in the top-10 and not have to worry about that aspect of it. If we do what we normally do then we shouldn’t have to worry about it. Shouldn’t have to worry about having to get that position.”

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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