Tony Stewart says Smoke will rise in 2014


September 3, 2013

Joking that he still must not be feeling well because he had actually missed the various media in attendance, NASCAR Sprint Cup three-time champion Tony Stewart spent well over an hour today discussing various matters during his first press conference following a sprint car accident August fifth in Oskaloosa, Iowa in which he suffered a severely broken leg that ended his 2013 racing season.

Stewart was in an upbeat if not altogether jovial mood as he discussed the accident and its aftermath. The primary point he made was that the current schedule has him back in a race car in February of next year, thus putting him in a position to run the entire 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

Stewart laid to rest various rumors concerning a disagreement between him and Gene Haas, co-owner with Stewart of Stewart-Hass Racing, regarding Haas’ signing of 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and lightning rod for controversy Kurt Busch to create a fourth Stewart-Haas team next year. As Stewart explained, “It wasn’t as dramatic as he (Haas) made it sound. He told me on a Monday, and then that Thursday there was a contract. The biggest thing was Greg Zipadelli saying, ‘We can do this. It may not be fun or easy, but we can do it.'” Stewart further commented that his main concern was whether it would be possible to put together a fourth team period in the available time period and not bringing Busch on board.

As to his accident and whether he felt any remorse over participating in sprint car races at the risk of jeopardizing his participation in Sprint Cup, Stewart responded, “It’s just life, guys. Things happen every day that you can’t guard against. I’m going to live my life to the fullest in the limited amount of time I have on this earth. It doesn’t mean I can do what I want.” He later added, “This (the accident) hasn’t cut anyone’s paycheck. It hasn’t stopped anyone from working. Certainly it’s been great having Mark Martin driving the car. I’ve been attending meetings most every day. The only part of work I’m missing is me driving the car. It was an accident.”

On the subject of Stewart-Haas driver Danica Patrick Stewart commented, “I knew this would be a learning year for her. I was impressed with her race on Saturday (at Atlanta Motor Speedway in which Patrick finished twenty-first). Every week is a learning week. I’m not judging her by her finishing positions; it’s by what we talk about on Monday and what she is learning.”

The oft-displayed Stewart sense of humor came out once again when asked what he most missed about being at the track to which he immediately replied, “The hot girls. When you’re laying in bed, there’s not much traffic going through your bedroom. You’d think after three Sprint Cup championships and everything I’ve done in racing I could get at least one hot nurse.”

Stewart will be piloting a tricked-out scooter when he attends this weekend’s race at Richmond International Raceway, the first race he will be at since the accident.

Surprise New Lineup Joins FOX Sports NASCAR Team

Although not as wildly heralded as the extension to, and expansion of, FOX Sports’ NASCAR coverage, the racing community is buzzing over the news that the FOX Sports 1 broadcast team for all Sprint Cup races it is scheduled to air will not be the familiar trio of Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds. Instead, a new combination to the broadcast booth yet well-known faces to all will be reunited, as after a few years away from the limelight Digger, Marbles and Gramps will return to broadcast television as they will call the action. Annie will serve as pit reporter.

“It only makes sense,” a FOX Sports executive who wished to remain anonymous stated off the record. “It’s no secret that the NASCAR demographic is getting older. We need to bring in a new generation of fans. And kids dig the Dig. Don’t they?”

“People are boogity-ied out,” commented another FOX Sports executive who spoke to reporters only on the condition nothing he said would be reprinted in any fashion. “They now want complete honesty in their announcers. If it’s a snoozer of a race, Gramps will unmistakably say so by snoozing. Well, technically that’s all he ever does. So what? Fans wanting validation NASCAR is boring aren’t going to care that the old flea carrier couldn’t stay awake during the Apocalypse. They want snoring, they get it.”

“Annie will be a great pit reporter,” noted a third FOX Sports executive who agreed to be interviewed only via pre-deleted emails. “She’s smart, won’t take any sass from any driver and isn’t afraid to get her paws dirty. Which is a good thing, considering she’s a gopher. Besides, she’s promised no baby making until Digger finally ices that claw… er, finger, which given what a wuss he is won’t be happening any time soon. We can’t tell you what a relief that is. You know what a pain in the ass maternity firesuits are to make?”

Rumors that NBC will counter the move by bringing in the Flintstones to announce some races during its portion of the schedule are presently being investigated.