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Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing - Q&A

As far as having Kurt, having a fourth team, I wasn't - there was nothing in my mind when he said that this disgrudged (sic) me because I knew from day one that Gene wanted this to be a four-car team eventually. I had no dream that he had it in mind for 2014 until three Mondays ago.

But as far as how it was going to look, and especially to Ryan, I think Gene addressed it last week. This was something that he came up with and it happened all at once, and Gene had made the decision that he wanted to make a change. We're partners in this, and Gene wanted to make a change, and I've got to go with that.

You know, it was his choice to add Kurt to the organization, not me. I really truly was 100 per cent behind it, I was just concerned about the time frame. The rest of it about everybody's perception that we're fighting and arguing, there was never one argument between us. I just expressed my concern about the timing of it, and it was no more elevated than the conversation you and I are having right here. It was literally trying to figure out the facts of can we feasibly do this in the time frame that we have and can we do it to the level that we want to accomplish in that short amount of time.

Q:
I just want to confirm, was it the torque tube that hit your leg?

Tony Stewart:
Yes.

Q:
As far as your therapy goes, do you know what you're going to have to do to get ready to be back in a car? And what will determine when you get back in the car? Is it just a matter of healing so there's no further injury, or is there pain and muscles that you have to address before being able to race?

Tony Stewart:
Yeah, the injuries are not just compound fractures. That was probably the easiest part of it. There is tissue damage, there's skin damage that's involved, and that's kind of been the first part of this process that the doctor was concerned about was before even the bones. They put the titanium rod in, and that's all they've done bone-wise up to this point. They literally, the first phase of this healing process was getting the skin to heal together, which I'll admit I've been about as squeamish as anybody you've ever seen. I literally have damned near passed out at every doctor visit I've been to so far with the surgeon. I go into it with the attitude that I'm not going to look at my leg, and as soon as they get the wrapping off of it, I'm like, I've got to look. It's like yelling at a dog going "squirrel." I cannot not look.

And then I spend the rest of the time sitting there with a wet washcloth on my forehead trying to regain consciousness.

But once we get through that, as far as the therapy side, like I mentioned earlier, I really don't know the time frame of that. I know I don't have another doctor's visit for three Wednesdays from now, and this is the longest that I've went without seeing him. But I'm pretty sure that right after that we're going to start therapy, and like I said, the main reason I don't know the answer to that is because I'm trying to keep from getting ahead of myself.

I do know that when we start therapy he said there's going to be a lot of crying involved, so I'm not looking forward to that. But I am looking forward to being able to get up and walk around like I'm used to doing and getting around like I'm used to. And the biggest thing is I can't wait to get back in a race car. I want to be ready for Daytona. As far as when he's going to give me the green light, I don't know what that's going to entail. I'm sure a lot of it's going to be really the bones being healed 100 per cent, or as close that it needs to be to do what I need to do.

The rest of it I think is going to be up to us therapy-wise to get that back in shape, and I can promise you we'll work really hard on that side to accomplish that goal, too. The doctor will ultimately make that decision as far as when we're cleared to get back in a race car.

Q:
You said you've been watching a lot of television. I just wondered, have you been watching a lot of NASCAR television, and what has it been like to follow the sport as a sort of fan rather than participant?

Tony Stewart:
I'll be honest, when I heard Kyle Petty say that we deceived Ryan Newman, I pretty much quit watching the talk shows and went to just watching the qualifying shows, the practices and the race. I'm kind of used to hearing some of that. I'm glad I'm at the racetrack and don't see those shows because I was a little disappointed with it.




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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)
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