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Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing - Q&A

It's a good question, and I don't know, because we have not been in that position through the last five years. I think through this whole process, I think it's been a learning experience for Gene, as well. We've never, ever had to think about anything for the last five years I've ran Stewart-Haas Racing. I definitely welcomed Gene being engaged like this, and I am excited he wants to be a part of it.

You know, I think Gene realizes the value of the group that we have here now, and especially since his media session last Tuesday. I think he really understands this a lot more and that there's a lot more involved in it. But he's a smart man, and he understands what it takes to run a company, and I think he appreciates the job that Brett Frood and Mike and Eddie and our group here really do and have done for the last five years.

I think we would talk about it a lot more. He's definitely the guy that writes the checks, and if he decides he wants to do something, I'm pretty sure with the fact that he holds the checkbook that he gets kind of the final say of it. But I think he values our opinions now and understands why I was asking questions and cautious about the time frame of it. So I think he respects that a lot more since last week.

Q:
With one race left to go in the regular season before we get to the Chase, can you evaluate the performance of both the #39 and the #10 for the first 25 races?

Tony Stewart:
Well, I think on the #10 side for sure, we all knew it was going to be a learning year. I was pretty impressed with Danica's race on Saturday. I know 21st isn't what she wants. Her standards on where she wants to be each week is much higher than my expectations are each week, but I thought she ran a really good race. And I think every week is just a learning week there. I don't think we - I'm definitely not judging her success by her finishing position, I'm judging it more by the Monday morning meetings and listening to her feedback and what she gained knowledge-wise out of each weekend versus the finishing position at the end of the day.

Ryan, I thought Ryan and Matt Borland, I think they've done a great job. We all got a really slow start to the year performance-wise. Here recently, obviously Brickyard was huge, and you look at the race Saturday night, if they don't get those last two cautions and it runs to the end, Ryan had a really, really strong shot at winning the race. The first restart got him hemmed up in a spot that even made it tougher after the second restart.

I know that wasn't what he wanted for a finish at the end of the day, but in all reality that's the best he's run in Atlanta in a long time, so I really feel like they've gained a lot of momentum.

We've used our four allotted NASCAR tests that we're allowed, and I think where there's been some teams that are in safer positions and already locked into the Chase already, they've saved some of those for these last 11 weeks. But where we were at the first third of the season and our strategy and Zippy's strategy of utilizing those tests a little earlier, I think we're starting to see the results of that pay off.

Mark had a good start to the race and then got caught up in the same deal that Kasey Kahne got caught up in on that restart, and other than that, I think we were in line for a strong day there. He had to go out early qualifying, which wasn't an asset for us there, but Mark is one of those guys that it doesn't matter where he starts, he knows how to run the race and especially race the race in Atlanta, so there wasn't any concern there, and I think we were in good shape there, as well, if we would have had the opportunity to not get caught up in the crash there.

I feel like all three teams are doing a good job. I'm really proud of the #14 team. I mean, to have Max in the car the first week, Austin in the car the second week and Mark in the car the third week, that's three big changes. And Steve Addington is probably - you could probably not have to sign him up for Rosetta Stone to learn new languages because I think he's had to learn three new languages in the last three weeks, or four weeks.




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)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, gets ready to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 26, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, gets ready to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 26, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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