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September 10, 2016

Tony Stewart

Richmond, Virginia

Q. Obviously the contact with Ryan Newman is what everyone is talking about right now. He seemed to indicate that you cut across his nose was intentional. What's your reaction to that?
TONY STEWART: He was right. That was the third time he'd driven into me during the night, and how many times does a guy get a free pass until you've had enough of it? He's got to do his part racing for a championship, too, and to race to get in there, and if you're going to run into guys‑‑ I go into 1 and he dive bombs in there. I'm already coming down, so it's not like I was trying to squeeze him in the infield or something. Ryan and I have been good friends. I don't do that to him. But he hits me in one, he hits me off of 2, and it's like the third time by that time. There was once early in the race that nobody saw. Three times, that's two more times than I normally let somebody run into me.

Q. As a guy who is your friend and used to be your employee, he also said some things like driving like you should already be retired. What's your reaction to that?
TONY STEWART: He'll get his wish in 10 weeks. He'll get his wish. Maybe next year without us here, he'll get his spot in the Chase that way. He's a guy that can get in here, and he's going to win a championship before it's all said and done. This night didn't dictate it for him. There were 26 weeks to get you to the Chase, so tonight wasn't a make or break for him. The 25 weeks before that set the tone for tonight and it made it stressful for him and he was trying to make it happen, but you can't just plow through guys and knock guys out of the way to get there and expect to make it.

Q. You and I were talking earlier this week about the Chase, and you said, I don't want to make predictions because in 2011 I said I was wasting a space in the Chase. But what do you think about the shot to win the championship in your final year?
TONY STEWART: I want to say I'm wasting a spot because it worked last time. Who knows what's going to happen? You've just got to‑‑ what you do up to the start of the Chase really doesn't mean anything, obviously. 2011 is proof of that. We'll get started next week at Chicago, and all I care about right now is getting ready for Chicago and running through Sunday at Chicago. Once we get through that, I'll worry about week 2. This is a stressful 10 weeks and you take it one week at a time. That's what we did in '11, and it worked.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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