Tony Stewart used a two-tire pit stop to pull off a late top-five finish, which he said "feels like a win" compared to the way his Stewart-Haas Racing team began the weekend.
Stewart said his car had "been terrible all weekend," which left him in a "doom-and-gloom mood," but crew chief Darian Grubb pulled a late night on Saturday running through simulation software to try and figure out what improvements could be made – and it paid off.
"If somebody would've said we were going to finish in the top five, I would've told them they were crazy," Stewart said. "We were not a top-five car last night. We were a 20th-place race car."
Stewart said he fought dehydration because he was sick the last few days, but doctors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield care center "worked with me the last two nights trying to get me feeling better."
"Because of that, that got us where we are today," he said.
Is his Stewart-Haas Racing team ready to win again? Stewart wasn't ready to go that far.
"We're still lacking, I'll be honest," he said. "I wish I could say we are where we need to be, but I'm proud of our organization. All of our guys at Stewart-Haas Racing who don't get to come to the racetrack on the weekend, they've really been working hard. The engineers have been working long hours and staying afterward each day, trying to make us better.
"That's all – as a driver and especially as a car owner – you can ask for is the hard effort these guys are putting forth."