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Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing - Q&A

The great thing is it's kind of a movement similar to when Dale Sr. crashed and how it sparked a movement of safety, and in stock car racing it's been really impressive to see how many companies and groups have really started looking at how can we make things better.

This wasn't a deal where it was a wore out race car and wore out parts and somebody that you question their maintenance program. This was a brand new car that we had, and it was just the perfect storm and a freak accident that I've never even heard of what happened happening to anybody else as far as the actual injury and everything, as far as how it happened.

But the good thing is that it got enough attention to, I guess, get this movement started, and there's a lot of people that are actively working on it right now. There's going to be something that comes positive out of this negative of being hurt. Sprint car racing has had a dark cloud over it this summer and just a lot of things that normally don't happen in it have happened in a short amount of time.

Reading some of the articles from people, from writers that don't know anything about sprint car racing, what they wrote has just devastated the sprint car community. I think that's been a big part in why some of these manufacturers have got involved and are trying to say, hey, this isn't as dangerous as everybody thinks it is, but we can make it better. There's going to be something positive come out, just like in NASCAR. There's no formal group like NASCAR put together to actually do this, but it's independent manufacturers that are saying we're going to figure something out, and that's pretty impressive to see.

Q:
Going back to what you said about the heightened engagement of Gene Haas, I just wanted to get your thoughts on this to be able to clarify. You said pretty emphatically at New Hampshire, no fourth car for next year, and now of course while you were sidelined all these things get set in motion to add a fourth car. Was that a conversation that you and Gene never had, that he would be willing to foot the bill and pay out of his own pocket, the millions it would take to start a fourth car, and were there any concerns about the perception of how that might look, that it all transpired while you were incapacitated?

Tony Stewart:
You know, when we had the press conference at Loudon, where we were at then, it was exactly what we said. It was 100 per cent on the mark. There was no - I was pretty disappointed to hear Kyle Petty say that we basically lied to Ryan and deceived Ryan. Deceived was the word that he used actually. They said we deceived him at Loudon in doing this.

Gene addressed this last week. This literally came up while they were at Indy at Brickyard and they were at a Chevy dinner, and that's where the conversation of doing the fourth team for next year, that's when it started.

I think as it progressed, Gene is not used to having partners. Gene is a self-made success story in the CNC industry, and he's pretty much been a one-man show doing it, and this is the first time that he's really had a partner. I think going through that process, I don't think that he thought much - he just didn't think about talking to me about it until it got further along.

Like I said, the Monday that they came, a week after my accident was the first time that he talked to me about it, and granted, I was in the hospital the week before, so that's probably why he didn't talk to me about it sooner, but a lot happened in a very short amount of time, and that's why when he spoke to me about it was really the first opportunity that he had.

It moved along very quickly, and like I said, my only concern was the fact of the sponsorship about it and the time frame of building the team. As far as having Kurt, Kurt is a huge asset. He's a guy that you know can go to every racetrack and has the capability of going out and being fast and being able to possibly win the race every week at every discipline.




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 Budweiser Designate a Driver Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cars race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Eckrich Ford, races Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates with his son, Keelan, in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
(Back Row L-R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Back Row L - R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Madison Martin, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, poses with his team in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, races Casey Mears, driver of the #13 GEICO Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

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