Tony Stewart says team has contingency plan for Kurt Busch

Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart

Three-time Sprint Cup champ Tony Stewart said Stewart-Haas Racing has a contingency plan if Kurt Busch’s legal issues with his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll should force the driver from the No. 41 Chevrolet.

Driscoll has accused Busch of assaulting her. Busch and Driscoll have been in court and the case remains unresolved.

“We do (have a contingency plan), but we’re kind of waiting to see," said Stewart, who co-owns the Cup Series team with Gene Haas. “I’m very hopeful we won’t have to worry about it. I feel bad that they are both in that situation right now. We have to be smart, and we have to have a plan in place."

Stewart said he didn’t expect the legal wrangling between Driscoll and Busch from last year to stretch into the 2015 Cup season.

“No, not at all," Stewart said. “This has definitely been a surprise."

The last two years have been tough for Stewart, who drives the No. 14 Chevy.

He broke his right leg in a sprint-car crash in 2013. Last year, he struck and killed sprint-car driver Kevin Ward Jr. during a race. Stewart was not charged, but said the death weighed heavily on his mind.

“I’m not 100 percent leg-wise, but in the race car, I’m fine," he said. “I felt fine last year."

Stewart, who didn’t win a Cup race last year, said he was excited to get into the racing season.

“I’m coming off a bad year and a half, you know," he said. “I’m definitely excited to get it all behind us."

Stewart has 48 wins, including four Coke Zero 400 victories at Daytona International Speedway. The Daytona 500 is the one big race that has eluded him.

The 43-year-old driver said he has no fear of not winning the Daytona 500.

“Not until the day I don’t run here anymore," Stewart said. “Everybody has got a shot here. We’ve been in that position (of winning) before. At least that gives you confidence that you have a shot." Daytona Beach News Journal

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