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April 28, 2012

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Tony Stewart


KERRY THARP:テつ Talk about how you thought things unfolded for the 88 team.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:テつ Our car was pretty good yesterday and started the race nice.テつ We made some good adjustments to help it roll to center points in the race.テつ I got them talked into going to a different master cylinder for a little softer pedal at Martinsville and then we brought it here and you are on the brake pedal so far down in the corner that it just cooked the fronts and I'd get a real soft pedal pretty quick.
I couldn't get enough front brake in it at the end to run as hard as I wanted to, and we just had hurt the balance a little bit on entry.テつ But really happy to come home with second.テつ We were running about fifth all night, and just got lucky on that restart to be on the inside and get a couple spots.テつ We just kind of got lucky there at the end on a couple things to gain a couple extra spots.テつ But we ran good.テつ We were terrible last year at this track and I really like running here, and I just was curious as to why we weren't performing as well.テつ So it feels good to run all right here.
KERRY THARP:テつ Tony, led some laps up there, certainly had a strong car, and really came on there.テつ Weaved your way through the field.テつ Talk about your run out there this evening.
TONY STEWART:テつ Yeah, I'm proud of our guys.テつ That's the best car I've had here at Richmond in a long, long time, something I felt really comfortable with today.テつ It was good right off the bat, and proud of Steve Addington, just kept making it better and better and better.テつ We were where we needed to be at the end of the day.テつ We stayed up with that trio of guys up front the last, I don't know, 150 laps or so.テつ You know, that's what you've got to do.テつ I mean, it feels‑‑ this is my favorite track, so it feels good to be running good here at Richmond again.

Q.テつ On the restart with Carl where he was black flagged, you were certain you were the leader?テつ Had that been communicated to you, and did you think that he just clearly jumped the restart?
TONY STEWART:テつ Well, we were the first one to line up and we were the leader on the board.テつ So I don't know how much clearer it could be that we were the leader.テつ If that was the case then they should have put the caution out and given him the opportunity to choose the lane that he wanted.テつ It's a miscommunication between upstairs and the drivers.

Q.テつ Tony, did you have a problem earlier in the pits, kind of the same issue?
TONY STEWART:テつ Not really.

Q.テつ Tony, on television you seemed upset on pit road about the pit crew.テつ You come in here and seem a little bit softer.テつ How do you address this, in a competition meeting, back at the shop Monday and Tuesday?テつ How do you see it going forward?
TONY STEWART:テつ No different than anybody else that has a scenario that happens tonight.テつ You go back and try to work on it and try to remedy the problem and try and make sure it doesn't happen again.

Q.テつ Tony, I think you got a water bottle out out there.テつ Was it a water bottle that brought out the debris?
TONY STEWART:テつ That's what it looked like to me.テつ I mean, it was out of the groove.テつ It had been sitting there for eight laps.

Q.テつ And the fact that this is the third straight race there has been no wreck, does that amaze you?テつ Have you ever seen anything like that?
TONY STEWART:テつ Only you would think about stuff like that.テつ I don't know what you think of during the race but I try to figure out how to win the race and make my car go fast.テつ I don't sit there and think of that petty crap you think of.テつ Glad to see you're back to form.

Q.テつ Going into Talladega next week, you now have a second finish, you've got momentum.テつ Is this going to help you possibly get towards that win and getting that 200th win for Hendrick next week?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:テつ No, I don't think momentum is a real thing.テつ The team is confident, we're feeling good.テつ We feel like we're competing well.テつ Really close to winning a race.テつ We ain't really raced for a win yet and lost one, so I wouldn't count tonight.テつ But we're getting better at running the top 5 and top 10s.テつ We'll just try to keep doing that.テつ There's too many variables going into races at Talladega whether you feel confident winning or not.テつ There's just too much going on there.

Q.テつ Dale, I heard you talk earlier in the race about having potential brake issues.テつ When it gets to the end, you've gotten yourself to second, are you thinking I'm screwed, I can't do this, or does the fact that you possibly can do it overcome the troubles you've had?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:テつ Yeah, if the car was good I could have dealt with the brake problems, if the car was faster than the 18 we would have got there to him and maybe we'd raced for it, but the brake problems weren't that bad.テつ I just chose a different master cylinder at Martinsville and I shouldn't have brought it here.テつ I just shouldn't have done that because I know better, and these cars are going too fast in the corner running that kind of master cylinder.テつ I learned a lesson, and we'll have an idea what to use when we come back.

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