Update on Tony Stewart Greg Zipadelli, Competition Director at Stewart-Haas Racing , met with members of the media at Michigan International Speedway and updated news on Tony Stewart and much more. The transcript in part:
Q) WOULD IT BE EASIER TO HAVE ONE DRIVER FOR ALL THE RACES TONY STEWART WILL MISS RATHER THAN CHANGING DRIVERS EACH WEEKEND? ZIPADELLI: Theres pros and cons to it. Were certainly looking at trying probably in the next three to four days, before we get to Bristol everything will be ironed out for the rest of the year. Weve had hurdles that weve had to get through so we are looking at that and were working on that. It will be two drivers probably the rest of the year just to do exactly what you said and just try to get them guys to try to build some chemistry and get the best finishes we can. Were still 11th in owners points, thats a big deal and we can look at that and thats kind of what were focused on right now. We are working on that, its just too early to talk about.
Q) ARE YOU WORKING UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT TONY STEWART WILL BE OUT THE REST OF THE YEAR OR IS THERE A CHANCE HE WILL BE BACK THIS SEASON? ZIPADELLI: We dont know that yet. Im working under the assumption that hes (Tony Stewart) out for the next month or so or longer. He went to the doctors this week, he had a decent visit. No setbacks. Basically, very simple instructions, stay in his bed with your leg up over your heart for the next seven days and then come back and see me. Well reevaluate you and tell you what you can do. Thats what hes doing. I saw him Wednesday night, we spent some time together, spent a couple hours together yesterday just kind of filling him in on all the things that weve got going on. Hes in great spirits and they changed some of his medicines and things of that nature. Hes going through a little bit of a transition period, but like I said the doctors appointment went well or as good as it can. He said the next seven to 14 days will tell a lot of how it heals, how those things take and well certainly continue to update you guys as we can. Its going to be a really slow process.
Q) IS AUSTIN DILLON ONE OF THE TWO THAT YOU ARE LOOKING AT FOR MORE RACES GOING FORWARD? ZIPADELLI: Yeah, obviously Austins (Dillon) done a great job in the Truck Series and Nationwide Series. Hes got a long-standing relationship with Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shop so we are talking about more races. We dont have anything concreted yet. Were looking at that other option and just seeing how many races that they can do. It looks like one more race at least for Austin through the rest of the year with us.
Q) GREG, WHY WAS AUSTIN DILLON THE RIGHT CHOICE THIS WEEKEND AND AUSTIN, HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE A SUCCESSFUL WEEKEND? ZIPADELLI: From our side, like I mentioned earlier, he (Austin Dillon) just ran here and did a great job in the spring race. Runs well here in the Nationwide. Hes done some testing in these cars so we could have found a guy in the Truck Series or something like that who doesnt have a ton of time in these race cars, which I felt was -- not that they wouldnt do a good job, but I think these cars are a little bit different and the biggest thing is that he did a good job here in the spring. We looked at that, the association with Bass Pro Shop, both sponsors were on board. That is a big priority to us that our partners are on board with everything we do. Obviously, we let them down with Tony (Stewart) not being in the car the rest of the year and we need to do the best we can to represent them and they are a big part of our decisions.
Q) HOW ACTIVE IS TONY STEWART WHEN YOU VISIT WITH HIM AND WHAT IS HIS MINDSET? ZIPADELLI: His (Tony Stewart) mindset is pretty good. Hes in a lot of pain at times. He was in a wheelchair yesterday when we had our meeting with three or four of us over there for a couple hours yesterday going over things at the shop and what we were doing moving forward. For the most part, like I said, hes supposed to be in bed for the next seven days with his foot up above his heart I guess is what the doctor said. It needs to be elevated just to keep the swelling and things of that nature down.
Q) WHAT IS THE TEAMS MINDSET ABOUT THE REST OF THE SEASON? ZIPADELLI: Everybody has been pretty good honestly. Weve been so busy trying to work through all these details and seats and seat brackets and all the things that have gone on in the last two weeks that these guys havent had time to stop I dont think really and reflect on whats going on in the year. Like I said, were 11th in owners points and thats the message that we keep driving to these guys that it is business as usual. Theres no reason in the world that we cant be in the top-10 with where were at and thats our goals is to continue fighting as hard as we can, do the best we can to represent our sponsors and keep the boss smiling at home that we did a good job with what we had to work with. (Team Chevy)
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