4 September 2013
Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing - Q&A
You know, if it hadn't kicked up the dust, I would have been able to see him much earlier than I did. When I did see him I was aimed straight at the cockpit. Even if I wasn't aimed straight at the cockpit, your reaction is to try to go around it, but definitely in that scenario it was try to at least go somewhere other than where I was pointed. I knew I wasn't going to miss him, but at least I got to the side of him a little bit.
I tried to minimize the damage of what was going to happen to both of us, but the way it worked out it ended up tearing the right rear suspension up.
As far as the second part of it, when I landed I started unbuckling my helmet and undoing my belts, and it just felt weird that I couldn't - my right leg felt numb, and I thought I must have just banged it against the frame rail or something and it went numb, but when I looked down, like I told Steve Addington, it wasn't like the toe was out on the front, it was more like we needed a jig to fix it. It was way out.
I knew at that point that it was fairly serious, and then when I went through the first surgery and realized - I didn't really look at it, and it was still - my leg was inside my uniform so I really didn't fully understand what the extent of the injury was until after the first surgery and after they kind of showed me X-rays and what had happened and what they had to do to fix it.
At that point I knew we were going to be out. The reason we didn't let you guys know that, and I know you guys probably think we deceived you by not telling you that information, but the reason for that was we had to make plans to not only figure out what we were going to do for the rest of the year driver-wise but make a plan, and with Ryan, still trying to get Ryan in the Chase at that point, not have answers to who was going to be in the car yet, that would have been a lot of media attention and stress that the teams didn't need to have. It was already bad enough, and that was our way, I guess, of kind of making sure we had our ducks in a row before letting you guys know what was going on so we had the answers to why we're doing what we're doing and that way we could make it a little bit more cleaned up on our end from the media side of it, being able to keep you guys abreast of what was going on. It did take some time to get all those details organized, to know what the answers were going to be so we had them when we met with you guys.
Will all of your therapy be done here in Charlotte, or will you do some in Indianapolis with those doctors up there? And I know you said you didn't want to get ahead of yourself, but has the doctor indicated to you how many days a week you will have to do your therapy and each hour of the day?
Honestly that's part of my goal the rest of the week. We're kind of in this three-week stretch here that he's kind of said you don't need to come back, but we're already starting to do some things with bands as far as trying to get range of motion in my foot and stretching, pulling my foot back and extension. So we've kind of somewhat started that. I'm not going to say that's my therapy yet because I know it's going to be a hell of a lot harder than that. But like I said, not getting ahead of ourselves. I don't really have the answers to that yet.
I'm going to reach out to the doctor here in the next couple days and try to figure out exactly what the therapy schedule will be, and I think at the same time that'll help me understand whether I'm able to do it from Indiana or whether I need to do it from Charlotte. We really don't know yet. I would like to do it from Indiana. I'm kind of ready to go home for a little bit, but at the same time I've got a lot of responsibilities here. The biggest thing I know from the doctor is he said he did not want two therapists doing this, that he wanted one person that was dedicated to it through the whole process, so that will dictate whether it's there or here.
But we have to find out what that schedule is going to be. That will kind of help dictate where it's going to be as far as whether I need to stay down here or whether I'm going to be able to do it from home. Whatever he says and whatever we decide on, I'm not going to waver from it. If I don't get to go home and I get to do it from here, I've got a 200-piece family here that doesn't mind seeing me every day. Either way I'm going to be content doing it where we have to do it.
I hear everything you're saying about Kurt being an asset and the conversations with Gene being just that. If you had been in a position to try to block this for logistical reasons, would you have or could you have?
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