7-14-15

Michelle Hoskin

Racegear.com

michelle@racegear.com

 

NASCAR Teleconference  with Tony Stewart

 

Tony Stewart, 2014, Chicagoland Speedway Garage

 

This year marks the 10 year anniversary of ownership for Tony Stewart and the Eldora Speedway in in Rossburg Ohio. This weekend is the 32nd Annual Kings Royal event and on July 22nd is the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Summer Mud Classic.

When asked about the next couple of weeks of activities, Tony responded that things are “coming along really well…I have some great staff…most of the heavy lifting has been done…and I am looking forward to it…”

Questions asked of Tony:

Being an owner, driver, etc. what have you learned? “I have learned a lot about managing people—Joe Gibbs taught me a lot while I was with him. It’s all about having the right people in the right places. Overall, it has been a big learning experience.”

 

Driver of dirt tracks, owner, etc., do you look at things differently? “Honestly, as a driver you’re thinking about winning a race, now I’m trying to think of everybody involved…fans, etc. How do you keep a fan base? “With short tracks – get word out there. Die-hard fans stay put. The Mud Summer Classic is huge for us…”

 

With New Hampshire coming up…you’re usually hot this time of the year. Any sparks yet? “I’m trying to get our program back on track. It’s been a disappointing year to this point. No matter the track, desperately trying to figure it out.”

 

What about the new Rule changes? “Honestly, I’m not the best judge to answer this. I’m fighting the handling of the car real bad right now. Car didn’t change despite the rule changes.”

 

Your thoughts on someone who missed 11 races, wins 2…but, might possibly not be in the top 30? Is it Inconceivable to you? “No matter what I say it will put me in a bad spot. Kyle did an awesome job, 100% into it. There are rules/boundaries in life for everything…but is it fair? He has been working hard enough to do it. But I do understand why the rules are in place.”

 

Bob Pokrass: In 2011, you showed a dynamic improvement during the chase…any signs of improvement now that you see…or is it a gradual process? “I didn’t see it coming in 2011…so it’s hard to say if it’s gradual or not. We just need to just get there. We’re working hard. We keep pushing. One race could change our whole season. It’s not a secret that we’re struggling, but yes, we’re excited about Brickyard!”

 

Clare Lang: We’ve heard all of the rumors and comments about Chad Johnston and you needing to get rid of him, your thoughts? “I like working with Chad. He’s not what’s holding us back…I’m holding him and the team back…with the new package…we haven’t figured it out how to change. The amount of horsepower was a pretty radical change for the Cup series…I grew up driving high horsepower cars…not used to feeling this way…”

Kenny Bruce: From an Ownership standpoint…do you believe that NASCAR is headed in right direction with rules package? “Ah…yeah. Anything that is going to make the fans happier…the process is hard for the teams. The costs come out of our pockets…not NASCAR’s pockets…and the time. I would like to see NASCAR share some of that expense. “

 

Marty Smith: Where do you feel the momentum is right now? “Honestly, I don’t know. It’s hard to see outside the #14 pit stall. The Greatest momentum: NASCAR’s work with the teams and drivers…the Driver’s Council was needed.  It’s exciting as a driver and an owner. Brian France needs to show up to these meetings, but I guess he’s too busy…”

 

Jim Utter: In the Media tour pre-Daytona – you seemed upbeat/excited.  Did your start knock the wind out of your sails? “Yes…the whole year has been frustrating. We fight the same battles everywhere we go. We’re trying a ton of things, but can’t seem to make a significant change. Every weekend I feel this is it, then it comes and yes, knocks the wind out of my sails…but we keep fighting, have a no give up attitude.”