This week in The Quotable Tony Stewart, Tony describes his two Kansas wins:
The first of your two Kansas wins came in 2006 and it came in a fuel-mileage race. How’d you do it?
“It was a battle between the driver and the crew chief. The crew chief is yelling at you every lap to save fuel, but you’re not slowing down enough and he knows it because he’s looking at the stopwatch. When you’ve got guys behind you, you know you don’t want to give those spots up in case they happen to make it on fuel. So, I tried to save as much fuel as I could and still hold guys off. We were able to take the chance because we had nothing to lose. Not being in the Chase that year gave us that opportunity to take the chance and go ahead and run for it.”
But Jeff Gordon was catching you toward the end of the race in the second win in 2009. How did you hold him off?
“We just kind of ran our pace. When somebody starts running you down, it’s easy to over-drive your car trying to maintain a gap, and you end up making it worse on yourself. So even though I saw Jeff getting bigger in the mirror, I didn’t want to burn the tires off in case we got a caution and we got a green-white-checkered (finish), so we just ran hard enough to not abuse the tires. It’s like he could get so close and then he couldn’t get any closer. When he got up there, he got tight and he had to run pretty hard to get by Greg Biffle, and then to run us down. By then, he pretty much got the good of his tires and we got the luxury to kind of, on that restart, run our own pace and take care of it and make sure we made it last the whole way.”
Tony Stewart — Kansas October 2015 Team Release
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