Tony Stewart crashes in his return to racing

Tony Stewart was sidelined with a Goodyear tire failure on lap 173 in the Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Stewart declined interview requests, but his crew chief, Chad Johnston spoke:

Q) WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE THIS WEEK HAVING TONY BACK IN THE CAR?
Johnston: "It's been real good and we got off to a good start. The car has had speed all weekend long and we qualified well. I went into today with some pretty high hopes of finishing well and possibly coming out of here with a win but it just didn't work out in our favor.

"We got into a little trouble with the 18 and got into the outside wall, knocked the toe out of it, and a lot of heavy right side damage. We were just trying to fix that and salvage what we could out of the day but then we blew a right front there right before that caution came out. So it's really good to have him back and we are happy to have Johnny Morris here and Rusty Rush and the guys from Code 3 to be here to support him here on kind of his homecoming back. Wish we could have had a better effort and better finish for them but we will move on to Richmond and see if we can't get it done there."

Q) YOU STARTED OUT WITH A GREAT RACE CAR AND RAN INTO SOME PROBLEM TELL US ABOUT YOUR NIGHT:
Johnston: "The Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet was pretty fast today. We made some pretty good progress there at the start, starting 12th. Drove up into the top five and thought we had a pretty good chance. We were just kind of biding our time and taking care of our stuff and got into an incident there off of (turn) two and knocked the tow out of it and had some pretty heavy right side damage. We ended up blowing a right-front (tire) because of it. Not the end of the day that we wanted. We thought we had a shot at winning and with two races to go to get into the Chase this was one of the two chances obviously left to get it done and to get into the Chase. We will just have to lick our wounds and go onto Richmond and see if we can't do it there and if so it will be pretty exciting."

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