Saturday, September 25, 2021

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Tony Stewart looks to bounce back after Daytona disappointment

As Tony Stewart comes back this year after breaking his leg last year in a Sprint Car crash and missing half of last season, there has been one question on everyone’s mind – how is Stewart’s leg feeling?

““I’ll be honest, I’ll be more happy when everybody quits asking me how I feel,” Stewart answered. “I’m not 100 percent.  I’m not going to be 100 percent for a while.  It was fine.  There wasn’t any drama, same as we said for the shootout, same as we said for the qualifying race and same as we said after the (Daytona) 500.  I appreciate everybody checking on me, but it’s not going to change in a week.  It wasn’t a big drama, everything is fine.”

While Stewart says things are fine off the track, they weren’t fine on the track as Stewart suffered fuel pick-up issues in the Daytona 500, resulting in a poor finish. With that said, there is pressure on Stewart and team to perform this week at Phoenix International Raceway.

Though in getting the performance solid, it will be about Stewart gaining chemistry with new crew chief Chad Johnston. Stewart says that the chemistry has started to come together, but you don’t know how long it’ll truly take to get to where it needs to be.

You have been doing this long enough that you know it can be weeks, it can be years.  You can’t sit there and say it’s going to take this long,” Stewart said. “It never has been that way and never will be.”

Though helping Stewart with working on that chemistry and set-up will be the extra testing time that teams will get next week at Las Vegas, as teams will be given an extra four hours. 

“I will take all the time I can get right now,” Stewart commented. “Those four hours at a race weekend is going to be big.  That is going to be a valuable four hours for us.”

For now, Stewart’s focus is on this weekend’s race at Phoenix International Raceway where he was 18th in final practice. Stewart will start 20th in the Sprint Cup Series The Profit on CNBC 500.

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