Stewart Won’t Change Sunday Plans if it Goes Long Green

TALLADEGA, Ala.– Tony Stewart said how deep the race goes before the first caution will have no bearing on him getting out and giving way to a substitute driver.

During his media availability as part of a press conference with Danica Patrick, the driver of the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet was asked if he would change his plan and run the entire race should the race go as long caution-free as it did last October.

“I still think the goal is going to be for when the first caution comes out,” Stewart said. “And if it means we go 80 laps or 100 laps or whatever, it’s not likely that the race will go that long without a caution, but if it does, the level of intensity is pretty sanitary at that point. It’s not really ramping-up yet. So, I don’t feel like there’s any danger in that. It’s later in the race when guys are really having to make things happen; that’s the part of the race when we really need to be out of the car. There will be ample time to get that caution to get us out. The good thing is that Talladega is so big that even if it’s 40 laps from the end of the race when Ty gets in it, he’s going to have enough time to do what he needs to do. Hopefully, it will happen sooner than later; and that way he can get into the flow of the race earlier than later and he’ll be fine. Everything that he’s done in our car this year has been awesome. I think he’s done a fantastic job and I think he’ll be fine this weekend as well.”

The plan is that Ty Dillon will hop into the car during the first caution of the race which will allow Stewart to be credited as the starting driver and receive the points from wherever Dillon finishes.

The decision to get out of the car stems from his doctors advising he do so to not risk re-injuring his spine.

Stewart suffered a burst fracture of his L1 vertebrae in a dune buggy wreck back in late January. After sitting out the first eight races, he made his return to competition in an 18th-place finish during last Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. He said afterward that he was having so much fun at his favorite track.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Tucker White
Tucker White
My name is Tucker White. I'm currently majoring in journalism at the University of Tennessee. I started getting into NASCAR around 1998 and started following the sport full-time in 2001. I live and breathe everything related to NASCAR. I also have a burning passion for all things auto racing. I've been following Formula 1 since 2011 and am slowing getting into IndyCar. I do my best to keep up with the World Endurance Championship. But at the end of the day, NASCAR is my primary beat. Being both a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a student at UT, I'm naturally a die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. Especially when it comes to Tennessee Volunteers football. While I'll never stop being one, it can be the most heart-wrenching thing ever. Since 2005, this team has delivered more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments and inhuman frustration. I've stuck with the Vols from the best of times - 1998 National Champions - to the worst of times - 2005 to present - because I know that it'll make it all so worth it when the mighty Vols finally return to the top of the college football landscape. In the last few years, I started to really get into baseball. This past season, I decided to pledge my sporting allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. It didn't turn out too well as they finished 67-95 and finished fourth in the NL East. I do see great potential with the young roster and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

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