Chat with Tony Stewart
Stewart began his racing career in the IRL, winning the points title in 1997.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, we'll have current Chase for the Cup points leader Tony Stewart stops by to chat, following his two straight wins in the Chase.
Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing, entered the Chase with no wins on the season. By winning the two races, he now sits tied for second all-time with eight career Chase wins. He has also now won at least one race in 13 straight seasons, the longest active streak.
Stewart began the Chase ninth in the points standings, 12 points out of first. He became just the second driver to win the first two Chase races and is now 7 points in front of the field. He's already won two NASCAR titles, one in the Chase (2005) and one pre-Chase (2002).
Send your questions now and join Stewart Thursday at 4:15 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (3:58 PM)
Current NASCAR Chase points leader will be here at 4:15 p.m. ET to take your questions! Keep sending them in!
Buzzmaster (4:04 PM)
Tony's hanging out right now, doing a quick video for ESPN's Mobile group.
Buzzmaster (4:09 PM)
Tony is ready for your questions!
Buzzmaster (4:13 PM)
Let's get started!
Alan (Columbus, Ohio)
Hi Tony! How much of a mental game do you think the Chase is and how does the mental aspect of the Chase effect not just yourself, but your entire team?
Tony Stewart (4:15 PM)
I think the further you get into the Chase, the more the mental aspect gets involved. At this point, you're just trying ot win races. But when you get into the last two or three races, that's when it kicks in. That's when you see guys playing mind games with each other.
Tony, do drivers look at the point standings during the season or do you just have a general feel of where you are and don't really look that much at the standings?
Tony Stewart (4:16 PM)
I'll be honest. I know Kevin Harvick is second, past that, I don't know who is where. For us, it's a scenario of keeping the momentum of what we have. Worry about what we're doing.
Your teammate and employee Ryan Newman is in the Chase with you. Does that make a difference in how you approach these Chase races?
Tony Stewart (4:17 PM)
Not at all. He's still trying to win the championship like we are. We still work close together. I think the intensity might help each other, but that's about as far as that goes. We're still working for the same goal and for the title. We're working hard at it.
Gadson (Stumpville, IL)
I am blown away with your poise under pressure. Do you ever get butterflies before a race or does the shot of adrenalin carry you through? BTW - thanks for supporting our troops and vets!
Tony Stewart (4:18 PM)
You still get the butterflies, but the adrenaline, you have with the butterflies. The day you don't get the butterflies is the day you should find another job.
Joe C. (Indy)
I have heard you talk about superstitions. If you had anyone on your staff that was a Red Sox fan, would you think about "parking" them for a few weeks to avoid any potential bad luck?
Tony Stewart (4:18 PM)
Our PR guy is a diehard Sox fan and I've had him 12 years now. It's more fun to pick on him than park him.
Ryan (Middleton WI)
Congrats on your roll! has Mr H stopped giving you full accesses to the notebook? J/K. My questions to you is, Does SHR already have all it's motors and chassis for the rest of the year already? Curious as to how that all works out come chase time.Thanks go get that 3rd cup!
Tony Stewart (4:19 PM)
We have our chassis already. The cars are already built. The motors we pick up midweek. They come straight from Hendrick and into the race cars. Those motors are built week to week and receive them the week of the race.
Mayra B. (Chicago)
We know that any of the upcoming 8 races can change the standings of the chase in a heartbeat. With already two wins under your belt and the chase lead, how do you prepare for Dover? Does the momentum from the wins help or do you erase them from your mind and try for the best finish?
Tony Stewart (4:20 PM)
You still have to focus like you haven't won the two weeks prior. The race cars don't know what you've done the last two weeks. You have to focus. From the team morale standpoint, that momentum carries. We know tomorrow is the fresh start to the weekend. We have to put the last two weeks behind us and focus.
Does being the boss/owner take any of the pleasure out of the driving? Is it an extra drain on your concentration.
Tony Stewart (4:21 PM)
Not really. I think it just brings the range of emotions wider. When Ryan and I have a good day, it makes that emotion greater. IF Ryan or I have a bad day, it pulls you down. If I have a good day and he has a bad day, it brings you down too. It just makes that range higher and lower than it would have been.
Matthew (Fort Worth)
Any chance that we'll see Stewart-Haas Racing field four cars in the 2012 Daytona 500, with Danica Patrick and Mark Martin occupying the other two seats?
Tony Stewart (4:22 PM)
MICHAEL(PACE,FLORIDA) [via mobile]
With the chase being as tight as it is do you feel it will take at least 1 if not 2 more wins to get to the title win ?
Tony Stewart (4:23 PM)
It's hard to predict any of what it's really going to take. It all depends on what all 12 guys do every week. If all 12 guys do 30 or worse, then no one's going to win. There's nothing that says you're going to have to have a win for the championship, let alone how many.
Tony, can I come work for you? I have no idea what I would do, but I figure it was worth a try. I could like sweep floors or something...any openings?
Tony Stewart (4:24 PM)
Yeah, come on down, I need someone to pick up my laundry tomorrow.
Justin (Northern Virginia)
Has the chase and points racing made drivers race harder than they should be early in races these days?
Tony Stewart (4:24 PM)
No, definitely not. The drivers aren't even thinking about the point structure, just knowing that there are 12 great teams in the Chase. you're just trying to do the best job you can to beat these guys.
Alan (Columbus, Ohio)
Hi Tony! First and foremost, congrats on your great start. You used to complain a lot about Goodyear tires and their lack of consistency from one week to the next. Now that Goodyear seems to be bringing a solid tire every week, what are your thoughts?
Tony Stewart (4:25 PM)
I'll be honest. I think Goodyear hasn't been a big topic of conversation this year like in the past. That's a complement. That's not a variable that we don't have to worry about each weekend.
Tony Stewart (4:27 PM)
G.J., make sure you starch the laundry when you pick it up tomorrow. Everyone else, enjoy the race and tune in this weekend.