NASCAR

NASCAR Victory Lane Q&A: Stewart finds father in the crowd

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After every Nextel Cup race, SPEED Channel's NASCAR Victory Lane brings you highlights and interviews from the track. After the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard 400, host John Roberts, analysts Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace caught up with several guests, including race winner Tony Stewart. John Roberts: Tony, a lifetime of dreaming, six seasons of trying. You did it. Tony Stewart: Yeah, this is one of those days that I normally... we want to get pictures done, get all the media done and go home. But they can drag this out for three or four weeks as far as I'm concerned. I don't want this day to end now. Jimmy Spencer: Tony, growing up just down the road here, and naturally watching the Indy 500 and then the Brickyard and finally winning that. What are some of the emotions you can tell the fans you're going through? Tony Stewart: I wish I could explain it. It's the first time I think I've ever been speechless in my life. I don't know what to do. I about crashed the car going into (Turn) 1 after we took the checkered. I just was so excited. The hardest thing all day — and it's not like a normal track — we've got a Turn 2 suite over here. And our suite is the first level up from the racetrack. I found my dad on one of the pace laps. Once we got in the top five, he never left the front row of that balcony. We got the lead, and like four laps later after I got the lead, I wiggled once in (Turn) 2. The next lap, I came around, and don't ask me why I'm paying attention to that, but I looked up there and he was pointing to his head like he used to do when I was eight years old, saying "Use your head. Use your head. Just do what you've got to do." They didn't stop cheering once I got that lead the last time, they never stopped cheering every time I came by. Jimmy Spencer: Kasey (Kahne) gave you a heck of a compliment at Richmond when he beat you at Richmond. He said, "I wanted to beat Tony." I think this is the best race I've ever seen you race, but to race Kasey and Kasey to race you the way you did, this is probably one of the most exciting Indianapolis races ever. Tony Stewart: Yeah, Kasey's awesome. It was so cool to be a part of his first victory, and I'm really proud and happy to say that he was a part of my first victory here at Indy. He's an awesome guy. Everybody's thought that we had a rivalry with each other, and we've always gotten along really good with each other. For him to have that good of a run, I'm really happy that he got a chance to race for the win today here, too. Knowing that it was Kasey, I knew he was going to race me clean, and he knew I was going to race him clean. I was weaving all over the place just trying to break the draft because I knew our car was really good in a straight line, but he was just so good up off the corners. And I couldn't beat him off the corners after that first restart after we got... Kenny Wallace: Tony, you're great like Dale Earnhardt was but he had that karma. He always said, "Gosh, I've got to win Daytona. I've got to win Daytona." Weeks before this, the media were talking about (this race). Everybody knew with 10 to go, they were like, "If he wins, he's going to go to Turn 2." Everything you said, the will to want to win here. Is it this race or the Indy 500? Which race means more to you? Tony Stewart: Really, it's not the race itself. It's this facility. It's just the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, just winning anything here whether it's the Brickyard or the Indy 500. My dream as a kid was to win the Indy 500; there wasn't any Brickyard then. So just to win a race here at the Brickyard in a premier series. This is everything I ever could have asked for. It's just one of those days that, for the rest of my life, I'll never forget today. Kenny Wallace: The song was, "This is the best days of my life." Did it take you back to your childhood when you were running around in that car there. Tony Stewart: It made me remember when I used to drive done 16th Street in a wrecker and look through the gaps. There are gaps in there where the people walk underneath the grandstands. You could see the wall, and you could still see — days after the race was over — Gordon Johncock's, Rick Mears', A.J. Foyt's name on the pit wall like they have out here today. You could see through those gaps, and you always wondered, "Man, what would it be like to be 300 feet over that direction and going 200 miles an hour." I had that accomplished in '96, and now I've got a chance to get it all. John Roberts: Tony, you've got that Brickyard trophy. Nothing can ever take it away. Congratulations. Tony Stewart: Thank you. My little dog Kayle, who is our chihuahua, she always sleeps next to me at night. She's going to have to move over because that trophy over there is going to sleep right next to me for the next week.

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