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Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing - Q&A

They've actually this past Wednesday took out 90 per cent of the stitches that were in the skin. The skin is healing really well. Like I said, there was a lot of skin damage where the bones, where they got through the skin during the accident. But the rest of those will actually come out with the doctor that helps us here with Stewart-Haas Racing that will be at the race this weekend. He's going to take out the remaining stitches, and then we'll be done with that.

No extra surgeries. There's no - we're not out of the woods as far as inspection right now with the skin or the bones, but the time frame that the doctor said is if we can get through the first two months and not have any dramas with infection that the odds of getting it are really, really low. We're halfway there on that, and the skin keeps healing faster than the doctor anticipated, so everything is progressing really well right now.

Q:
I have two questions, both sort of related. Sprint car racing, you haven't been asked directly, Zippy had said that all that racing, it's your hunting, it's your fishing, and it also gives you your edge, he thinks, into what you do. Will you keep up the same sort of schedule that you think you've done in the past? Question number two, Mark and Zippy both said in a joint press conference that their exact words are you are bound and determined to address sprint car safety and sort of make improvements that maybe should have been done years ago. What can you do and add to that going forward?

Tony Stewart:
Go back to the first one again. What was the first one? Oh, am I going to run?

Q:
Are you going to run?

Tony Stewart:
I haven't had to think very much the last four weeks. I've got to watch Oprah the last four weeks now, and I'm very tired of watching TV.

As far as getting back in a sprint car, this year was the most aggressive schedule that we had planned, and even if I was 100 per cent healthy, I wouldn't plan on racing 70 races again next year. I think I was a little aggressive on my schedule as far as how many dates I wanted to run. But even with that, some of the places that we went to, some of them are tracks that I'm like, aww, it's probably not a place I want to go back to next year.

I am going to get back in a car eventually. There's no time frame on when I'm going to get back in one, but I'm definitely going to cut back the amount of races, just on scheduling purposes more than anything. I was starting to tell I was getting a little bit tired around Brickyard time, and that was - we had the truck race that week, which was a lot of stress, and we had a lot of races scheduled in the two weeks prior to that.

Definitely going to cut back quite a bit, and a lot of that is - it's not been pressure from the sponsors. Everybody has been - our sponsors have been absolutely amazing through this whole thing. Everybody at Exxon Mobil, all the executives there have either sent text messages to me on the phone or sent us letters to the house. Johnny Morris is one of my best friends, and he came to the house and saw us.

You know, there's definitely concern they want me to be healthy. They want me to be 100 per cent health-wise, and every one of them is worried about my safety, and obviously the sprint car topic has been a little bit of a sensitive topic with them, and a lot of them just don't understand everything about sprint car racing, so it's easy to understand their side from that.

But they've all been supportive of me living my life and understanding why I do what I do. But for sure it's definitely - I'm definitely going to cut back that schedule.

The safety side, it started before I even brought it up. Jerry Russell, who used to own Eagle Chassis, is developing a torque tube tunnel, which is kind of like a drive shaft tunnel like we have in the Cup cars for the same reason. Jeannie Butler and ButlerBuilt here in Charlotte have already been working on tether systems for the front of the sprint cars, where Jimmy Carr, my crew chief, has already been working on issues in the torque tube that he thinks can be addressed plus tethers for the back of the car to make sure that the rear end coming back like it did that actually caused the problem will be addressed.




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)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, finishes in ninth place racing with Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS who finishes in eleventh place Sunday, March 29, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet SS, finishes in eighth place Sunday, March 29, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 TaxAct Chevrolet SS, finishes in 7th place Sunday, March 29, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, finishes in sixth place Sunday, March 29, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Truex, Jr. is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, qualifies for 2nd position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Newman is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Gordon is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
A view of a decal placed on the #14 Code 3 Associates / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, driven by Tony Stewart (not pictured), during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott (left) congratulates his son Chase Elliott, driver of the #25 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. This will mark Chase Elliott`s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, answers questions from media during a press conference before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. Vickers was forced to withdraw from competition due to blood clots. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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