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Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing - Q&A

I don't know that I learned much about myself. I pretty much knew already that I could sleep 20 hours out of a 24-hour day going into this. But the team I've learned a lot about. The one thing, Greg Zipadelli, I can tell you this, when I heal, Greg Zipadelli is going to be the first one to try to kill me when I heal from this, but I've never been more proud of him and everyone here at Stewart-Haas. To go through what we're going through and try to make the changes and the growth that we're going through all at the same time and in such a short amount of time and go through this injury, this team has stayed extremely focused.

I'm proud of the group we've got. I think everybody has just kind of said this is the cards we're dealt, now what's next and what do we do. Nobody sat there like oh, this is doom and gloom. They're like what's next, how do we make the adjustment and what's the plan going forward.

I've probably learned more about the team than I have about myself, which I've been very impressed with. I think they've done a great job.

Q:
When you were injured and you're sitting there in your own space, how much concern did you have about letting people down, your team and your employees and your sponsors and all the tentacles that come from Tony Stewart?

Tony Stewart:
You know, you never want something like this to happen, but a perfect example this week is Bobby Labonte was riding his bike and broke three ribs and missed a race. It's just life, guys. Things happen every day. You can't guard against all the time, and the thing is you've got to live life. You can't spend your whole life trying to guard against something happening. If you do that, in my opinion you've wasted your time. We are all here a short amount of time in the big picture, and I'm somebody that wants to live life. I'm not somebody that wants to sit there and say, I've got to guard against this and I've got to worry about that.

I mean, if I got in a race car and didn't wear a helmet and didn't wear seatbelts, then that would be dangerous, and that's being foolish. We don't do that. But I'm going to go live my life. I'm going to take full advantage of whatever time I've got on this earth. I'm going to ride it out to the fullest and I'm going to get my money's worth; you can bet your butt on that.

Q:
Last week Gene Haas was here talking about the fourth team, and he made a couple of jokes and comments about you guys weren't necessarily on the same page when he proposed the idea to you. Are you now? Have you guys worked through it? Are you excited about it? Where are you?

Tony Stewart:
Well, it wasn't as dramatic as he made it sound. You know, when Gene came to me about the fourth team, he told me on a Monday, and then on Thursday I was told that they had a contract ready. So it definitely moved a lot faster, but in that time frame there were a lot of meetings in three days. And the biggest thing was having Greg Zipadelli sit there and say we can do this and we can get it done in a time frame. That was my concern. It wasn't that I was against the idea of what Gene had in mind.

In all honesty, you think about what role he's played in this company, ever since I've been a part of Stewart-Haas with him, every year he's become more engaged than the year before, and for him to go out and take an opportunity like this to go find somebody like Kurt and do it in a time frame and make this happen in such a short amount of time has really been encouraging to me as his partner in this deal.

It was just me getting caught up more than anything, and when he asked me about it, I wanted to make sure that we had the time - the timing is very tight, and we're going to have to get a lot done in a short amount of time to accomplish this. But I think it was really Greg saying we can do this and we can get this done in the time frame, and it may not be fun and it may not be easy, but we can do it. That was what made me finally give my 100 per cent blessing on it.




Related Pictures

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Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, speaks to the media in his first appearance since his sprint car accident at Stewart-Haas Racing on September 3, 2013 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
NASCAR driver, Mark Martin, who is filling in for an injured Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, watches the press conference at Stewart-Haas Racing on September 3, 2013 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Josh Katz pushes the wheelchair of Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, before he speaks to the media in his first appearance since his sprint car accident at Stewart-Haas Racing on September 3, 2013 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, will be on the front row after qualifying for second position Friday, July 31, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Friday, July 31, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Dillon is 19th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, July 31, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Stewart is 26th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.(Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualifies for sixth position Friday, July 31, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Busch is eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a ninth place finish Sunday, July 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with third place finisher Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS Sunday, July 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place Sunday, July 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, races to a third place finish Sunday, July 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eighth position Saturday, July 25, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Earnhardt, Jr. is fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, qualifies for sixth position Saturday, July 25, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Saturday, July 25, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Larson is 21st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Saturday, July 25, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Stewart is 26th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on July 24, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Christopher Bell, driver of the #54 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota, celebrates with Eldora track owner Tony Stewart after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 1-800-CAR-CASH Mud Summer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 22, 2015 in Rossburg, Ohio (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AARP Member Advantages Chevrolet SS, finishes in ninth place Sunday, July 19, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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