Tony Stewart says there's pressure to make the Chase – but it's in the form of annoying questions from the media. Here's part of the transcript from his media availability today that was televised live on ESPN.
Reporter: WHAT IS THE SITUATION LIKE FOR YOU RIGHT NOW?
Stewart: "We have to finish 18th or better, same thing as you've known all week."
Reporter: DO YOU FEEL ANY PRESSURE OR DOES THIS FEEL LIKE A NORMAL WEEK?
Stewart: "The pressure is all of the media standing here. We're doing the same thing we always do every week. It's you guys asking us the same questions for eight straight weeks in a row is annoying. That's where the pressure is coming in because we're answering the same thing that we answered for the last seven straight weeks. That is where it gets annoying after awhile and gets to be very monotonous."
Reporter: WHAT SHOULD WE BE ASKING YOU?
Stewart: "I don't know. I don't do your job. Come up with something original."
Reporter: WELL, I THINK THIS PARTICULAR WEEK THAT IS UNFAIR BECAUSE THIS IS A BIG WEEK
Stewart: "All right, here's the thing. All I care about is what I am doing this week. I'm not worried about what's going to make your article this week. If it doesn't make my race car go fast, I really don't care about it right now. Got a lot of things going on."
Reporter: THAT'S FAIR, BUT YOU ARE IN A POSITION...
Stewart: "So ask me a question that's original this week."
Reporter: I THINK THE QUESTION IS THE SAME THIS WEEK BECAUSE OF WHERE YOU ARE IN THE STANDINGS.
Stewart: "Ok, then go back the last seven weeks and get the same answer I used the last seven weeks. I'm doing exactly the same thing I've been doing."
Reporter: YOU DISCUSSED LAST WEEK THAT THE ONE PLACE YOU GUYS HAVE SOME DEFICIENCIES IS YOU NEED A COMPETITION DIRECTOR IN ORDER TO GET THE OVERALL SCOPE TO GROW. IS THAT SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THE END OF THE SEASON TO DO OR SOMETHING YOU ARE WORKING ON EVERY DAY?
Stewart: "Definitely not. You definitely don't want to wait until the end of the season. See this is original. This is somebody that is a good journalist because they actually know how to ask something original. It is a good question; it is nice to have that occasionally.
"You definitely need to have that as soon as possible. You can't grow and you can't get better until you get that spot filled. It is a position that you can't afford to wait until the end of the season. You need to have that person. If you don't have that person in place, you need to be trying to get that person hired for sure."