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Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing - Q&A

I told the crew guys, I said, there's no doubt in my mind that through the hiring process, we're definitely going to have to hire a lot more people for the team. There's going to be two really key positions that we're going to have to fill, and that's, one, a therapist for me, and the second one is the therapist for the rest of the team. But it's going to be fun. I think there's a lot more positives than - everybody is looking at this as oh, my God, this is an atomic bomb that can get set off at any moment.

I look as it the opposite way; I think the fact that we've all been through this to a certain degree and we all don't want to get back in that mode again, I think whether I get frustrated and those two guys calm me down or it's one of the other two and the two of us calm them down, I think it's a good support system for each other. But I think we all look at it as a positive that we all three as well as Danica - I mean, Danica is good at calming scenarios down with us. She was a little wound up in the trailer. I think we've got four people that can sit there and really work well together and can contribute, and they're passionate and can go out and be competitive.

I think that makes it really encouraging for what we have in store for the team next year.

Q:
I just wondered, a lot of people like to go home when they're hurt or whatever, and it sounds like it's going to be almost more difficult for you to go home now with your mobility and everything, and I wondered if you do get here, will you be able to do some of the things you really like to do, whether that's fishing or whatever?

Tony Stewart:
Yeah, I mean, I actually got approval through the doctor, and Eddie has been, like I said, a huge part of this. I'm going to get to go to Richmond this weekend, which I'm excited about. I'm excited to not only spend time with my teams but at the same time get the opportunity to see other teams and NASCAR officials that I miss. But I am going to get to go home back to Indiana for a couple days after the Richmond race, and I'm really looking forward to that.

I'm not going to get to do a lot of things I like to do, which is get on a tractor or get a beer and go out in the woods and do a lot of things I want to do, but just getting to go home, as much as I love being at Eddie and Dana's house, at the same time I want to go home just to get them some sense of normalcy for a couple days and let them get their life back for a little bit and not have to babysit me.

I'm pretty sure that fishing is not going to be too bad a strain on my leg, so I'm pretty confident I'll get a couple days of that in before I have to come back. But like I mentioned earlier, if my therapy means I have to be down here, the biggest thing is getting my leg healed up and getting ready for the next season. If it has to be down here and I don't get to go home, that's just part of it and that's part of the bump in road. But we'll do what we have to do to get healthy again.

Q:
While you were in a hospital bed, I was also in one. I had a heart ablation, so I kind of can relate to - I was only four days in a hospital bed, but I'd kind of like for you to share what it's like to be all of a sudden, oh, man, this is a whole thing of life. What would you say to people that are mostly ambulatory all the time and in good shape and everything else, how fortunate they are and how much a hospital bed, as much as you need them, they're not much fun?

Tony Stewart:
From the sound of it, it's affected your life more than mine. You know, I don't think it's necessarily a scenario where people take it for granted. I think we all know somebody that's had an injury or had an illness that they've had to be in the hospital, and you see how it affects them and how it affects their families. But the big thing is, like I said, we've had a huge support system of people that not only came to the house to visit but people that have texted and called, and it makes you forget about the fact that you're hurt, and probably in more aspects it reminds you how good of friends you have and how much you mean to people that you really don't realize how much you mean to them, and that, I guess, to me far outweighs whatever injury I've got. The injury will heal, but having that sense of knowing how much people care about you probably means more than how long the injury is going to take.

Q:
Did it surprise you that some of the fans who might not have liked Tony Stewart were so gracious to you when you were injured?

Tony Stewart:
I wasn't aware of that, but that's pretty cool. Like I say, there's one thing that Dale Sr. taught me a long time ago. In 2000 or 2001, we were riding in a truck together, and I went across during driver intros, and I got into it with somebody the week before, and it wasn't very popular. I think 50 per cent of the crowd booed and 50 per cent cheered, and when we got in the truck together and were riding around, he knew I was pretty disappointed about hearing it. He goes, well, kid, you've finally made it. He goes, whether they booed you or cheered you, everybody made a response, and if you're making them respond one way or the other, you mean something to them one way or the other. That's something that even an injury like this, if it means something to you, whether they liked you or disliked you, you mean that much to them that they respond, I guess that's a good thing.

Q:



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