NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR
Topics: Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR
June 10, 2012
LONG POND, PENNSYLVANIA
THE MODERATOR: We'll start off our most race media availability with our three‑time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, who drives the No.14 Mobil 1 Office Depot Chevrolet, finishing third today.
Tony, new pavement out there, fast, fast, fast, some great stuff at the end there. Talk about how it looked from your view.
TONY STEWART: Yeah, it was pretty hard, pretty hard to pass all day, but it kind of normally is. I don't think it was really any worse than it normally is. But seemed like the end of the race it got pretty racy there and guys could move around a little bit. All in all, for a freshly paved track, it was a pretty good race.
It was frustrating the first half of the race until guys got their cars better. You really just kind of got stuck, and then it seemed like the longer the race went, the easier it got to pass toward the end.
But the restarts were insane, but you had to take full advantage of them. That was the biggest opportunity to make gains and definitely big gains. You could get three or four at a time if somebody got bottled up a little bit. Had to be on your toes for the restarts for sure.
Q. You had some smoke in your car somewhere along the line?
TONY STEWART: Not that I know of.
Q. Half the field got busted for pit road speeding at some point today, and I just was wondering how big of a focus was the timing lines for you guys heading into the race? Did you feel properly prepared for that going in? What do you think was going on today?
TONY STEWART: I don't know. I mean, I was obviously being told from the crew chief that a lot of guys were getting busted in that last segment, so we just made sure and were a little bit on the conservative side that last bracket there.
But we didn't have any issues with it. I mean, it just shows the guys are pushing the envelope so close on it that that's what creates a lot of it. But it makes you wonder if something was going on in that particular segment because a lot of guys got busted in the same spot. It wasn't necessarily‑‑ just seemed to be that last segment of pit road. That's the only thing I can speculate is it seemed like it was the same spot for this, so there was a common denominator with everybody that got caught speeding, but I don't know what the reason would be for it.
Q. Is that something you would focus on heading into a race weekend, or is this typically something that you would never worry about going in, a change in the timing lines from last year to this year?
TONY STEWART: I mean, the crew chiefs go out there and they walk pit road and they can see where the lines are laid in the track, so you know exactly where they are per pit box basically. So it's not a secretive deal where you can't figure out where they're at. I mean, the crew chiefs are allowed to figure that out and go down there and document where they're at. Then we're made aware of it as drivers.
But it's still the same pit road speed all the way from the beginning to the end. You don't really think about it from year to year, you just worry about whatever the pit road speed is and make sure you get it on your tach correctly.
THE MODERATOR: Tony, congratulations. Thanks a lot.
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