TONY STEWART met with members of the media at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and discussed the first practice session, winning the ESPY for Best Driver and other topics. Full Transcript:
MOMENTUM IS ON YOUR SIDE COMING OFF A WIN AT DAYTONA AND YOU GUYS WERE PRETTY GOOD IN PRACTICE TELL US ABOUT YOUR PRACTICE SESSION:
“We’re decent I think. We have been pretty good here both races last year so I’m pretty excited about coming back here. We definitely have a good start to the day for sure.”
WHY DO YOU THINK YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN SO GOOD HERE BOTH YOU AND RYAN (NEWMAN) AND CAN YOU CARRY ANY OF THAT OVER?
“I wish I knew, but it seems like where we were last year it’s continuing on so far even though we’ve got a little bit different tire it sounds like. I’m pretty happy with it. I mean the car right off the first lap felt like it had really good balance to it. Just got to keep working with it and see if we can keep making it better all weekend.”
DID YOU EXPECT THE DECISION FROM THE ARMY THAT YOU HEARD THIS WEEK?
“We knew that it was a possibility. It was a little bit of a surprise, but it is what it is.”
WERE YOU SURPRISED AT ALL ABOUT THE PENALTY TO YOUR TEAM, THE POINTS…?
“No, NASCAR has been consistent about that and like I said last week I support them 100 percent on that. It was a mistake on our teams’ part and we deserve the penalty for it. Like I say I would rather them be consistent than not be consistent.”
WOULDN’T YOU TRADE A WIN FOR A SIX POINT PENALTY ANYTIME?
“No, because I mean luckily it was in qualifying so it wasn’t something that made us win the race, we didn’t win the race because of that. Like I said, it was just a mistake on our part and we just got to make sure we don’t overlook that again.”
I WANTED TO ASK YOU ABOUT (AJ) ALLMENDINGER DID THAT SURPRISE YOU AND THE FACT THAT NASCAR SUSPENDED SOMEBODY A FEW HOURS BEFORE A RACE IS THAT CONCERN YOU?
“I don’t know that it’s concern I mean NASCAR has got their policies in place and it was a little bit of a shock I think to all of us that it happened when it did. That is not in AJ Allmendinger’s character so I don’t know what is going on there. It’s unfortunate because he’s a good guy and he’s a really good race car driver so I mean I would say there is probably a logical explanation for it. It is what it is.”
AFTER THE RACE LAST SATURDAY IN DAYTONA JIMMIE (JOHNSON) AND KASEY (KAHNE) WENT AND DID A TRIATHLON IN SOUTH CAROLINA, WERE YOU DISAPPOINTED YOU WEREN’T INVITED?
“No, definitely not disappointed at all. The only thing I would have been invited to do is stand on the side of the road and hand them water as they went by. They’re pretty tough. It’s pretty cool to see those guys do that. I mean you’ve got guys like Carl (Edwards) and Mark (Martin) that are probably the two most fit guys we’ve got. Then you’ve got Jimmie (Johnson) and Kasey (Kahne) doing events like that it’s pretty neat to see those guys do something different like that.”
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WINNING AN ESPY FOR BEST DRIVER?
“That was awesome. The other drivers that were in that category it’s just an honor to be nominated let alone to actually win it. I’m really proud of that.”
DID YOU WATCH THE SHOW?
“I was racing actually I was in Ohio racing. I didn’t even get to see it. I’ll get to watch the replay.”