"He's definitely the guy that writes the cheques, and if he decides he wants to do something, I'm pretty sure with the fact that he holds the chequebook 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."
Stewart added that he had never had any doubts about having Busch as a team mate in 2014: "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."
The only thing that Stewart appeared to really regret was the way that his friend and long-time team mate Ryan Newman had been left out in the cold by all of this, with Stewart previously having had to let Newman go after determining that adding a fourth car to the team's line-up alongside that of his own, Danica Patrick and Kevin Harvick's simply wasn't viable. Stewart had intimated that if and when a fourth car was a possibility, Newman would be a leading candidate for the seat.
"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," Stewart said. "Ryan and my relationship is still the same [although] ince this has happened the last week, I really haven't had time to sit down with a heart-to-heart.
"I think today will answer a lot of his questions, but I still will have a conversation with him about it," he continued. "We were both very adamant to each other that our friendship was going to stay the same and we both knew where each of us stood as far as the business side of this and understanding that it wasn't emotionally driven, that it was business driven, and that through this our friendship would stay the same, and this won't change that."
But for right now, the focus was on trying to squeeze Newman into the 2013 Chase, with the #39 hopeful of making the cut-off via one of the 'most wins' wildcards but everything now hinging on this weekend's race at Richmond. "The biggest thing is I want him to focus on what we're trying to accomplish this year," said Stewart.
Read the full transcript of the press conference