As many Smoke fans know- Tony Stewart gave a press conference today. Since the announcement of the press conference last week- it’s been much talked about, much speculated about, and much rumored about. All of which reminds me how social media is both great and terrible at the same time and I wanted to post about this when his accident first happened but never did. Before I go into the press conference details I want to talk about this a minute. You might be asking yourself what I mean by this. Let me explain:
When Tony first had his accident – I found out about it on Twitter. Being on the west coast – it was breaking pretty much as I was getting ready to settle in for the night, turn all devices off and go to slumber land to reset for the next day. Except not- because I got wrapped up in wondering what was happening- all because I decided to peek at twitter just to see how Tony did at his dirt race. And MOST of what I was seeing consisted of other fans, some media that I follow, and some drivers (Denny Hamlin’s was the first concerned tweet I saw from a fellow driver) wondering what was going on and hoping that Tony was alright. Then there were tweets that were terrible and had him on death’s door or worse. I believe I finally told a fellow fan on twitter that I couldn’t “watch” anymore because I was sick of the rumor crap- and that if she heard anything from an official source to direct message me and I just shut it down. The same deal has happened with both the Busch to Stewart-Haas in 2014 press conference and the Tony Stewart press conference. Sometimes- the speculation and the rumors just kill me and make me start to lose hope in humanity. Is it any wonder that certain drivers shy away from social media? Hell- I shy away from it sometimes- and I am no one.
Now back to the actual press conference- my thoughts on it are this: Tony seemed relaxed and very upbeat and very much himself. I will admit that much like the Atlanta race on Sunday there were a couple of times that I wanted to stand up and shout THAT IS WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT so probably a good thing I was just watching from afar on the computer and not in the room! I took the official transcript and made it into a pdf- it’s 27 pages long (I would attach it but I can’t figure out how to do that into a blog post). Tony covered a lot of ground- mostly addressing his sprint car accident, his recovery, and the whole Kurt Busch to Stewart-Haas in 2014 dealings. So to answer some basic questions that you might be here trying to gleen- in my own words:
Yes, he will drive sprint cars again. His doctors expect him, barring any set backs, to be back for Daytona. He does not have an exact ETA on specifics in his recovery because he is pretty much taking it from doctor’s appointment to doctor’s appointment- as to not get ahead of himself. He likes that Gene Haas is taking such a keen interest in the racing product at Stewart-Haas and no they did not have any arguments about it. He did have questions and concerns and the way Tony made it sound- Greg Zipadelli was a big help assuaging Tony’s concerns about the timeline they will have to set to get Kurt into the fold without hurting what they are doing with the other teams, oh and you know- trying to get Ryan Newman into the chase this year. And speaking of Ryan Newman- it doesn’t sound like Tony’s sat down with him yet and talked to him but he doesn’t see what is going on hurting their friendship (I don’t know about that one Tony- I hate to say it). Oh and Tony wanted to wear a shirt that Clint Bowyer brought him of the men’s room stick figure guy with a broken leg on crutches that says Shit Happens- but Mike Arning vetoed it. That is pretty much the gist of the presser. He didn’t even get cranky when he had to repeat himself or expound on things he couldn’t really expound upon any more.
Mostly though, my thought is this- the press conference was extremely well timed in regards to both Tony’s recovery and the rampant rumors running the internet circuit about things like his status at Stewart-Haas Racing and the Kurt Busch to Stewart-Haas in 2014. Fans were starting to get restless not hearing and seeing Tony with their own little eye balls (me included). And I think that absence helped breed some of the nasty rumors.
Some favorite quotes and pictures from the presser:
Things happen every day. You can’t guard against all the time, and the thing is you’ve got to live life. You can’t spend your whole life trying to guard against something happening. If you do that, in my opinion you’ve wasted your time. We are all here a short amount of time in the big picture, and I’m somebody that wants to live life.
I’m going to take full advantage of whatever time I’ve got on this earth. I’m going to ride it out to the fullest and I’m going to get my money’s worth; you can bet your butt on that.
I’ll be honest, when I heard Kyle Petty say that we deceived Ryan Newman, I pretty much quit watching the talk shows and went to just watching the qualifying shows, the practices and the race. I’m kind of used to hearing some of that. I’m glad I’m at the racetrack and don’t see those shows because I was a little disappointed with it.
I thought surely through three Cup championships, an IndyCar championship, winning the USAC triple crown, a national championship in ’94, that I could surely out of this whole process get one hot nurse during this whole thing, and I got Eddie Jarvis to take care of me.
I’m kind of surprised myself to be honest; I’m surprised I’ve been this upbeat about it, and I don’t know why. But I guess I just look at it as it’s just a bump in the road.
One last picture- this one from the Stewart-Haas Facebook page/Instagram feed. Check out Steve Addington’s wrist there- he has on the Get Well Smoke/Team 14 bracelet…that TOTALLY rocks (and I still have some if anyone else wants one- email me at badgruv @ netzero . com (without all the wonky spaces- that’s to keep the spam bots away).
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