Tony Stewart told NASCAR.com in an exclusive interview that he and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are fine after last weekend’s incident at Richmond, crew chief Chad Johnston is not to blame for the team’s struggles and he is proud of teammate Danica Patrick’s driving this season.
Stewart uttered expletives after an incident with Earnhardt last weekend at Richmond and later threw his helmet and HANS device into the team’s hauler. Stewart, who finished 41st, explained his demeanor.
“That wasn’t frustration at Dale Jr., that was frustration that we haven’t had many days where we were running as well as we were that day. … and then to have it end up like that,” Stewart told NASCAR.com. “Junior and I are friends. We’re fine.”
Stewart’s finish continued his struggles. He entered Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway 30th in points. He’s placed 30th or worse in five of the season’s first nine Sprint Cup races.
The three-time champion says he’s struggling with the new rules package this season.
“It’s like I’m in the middle of a calculus equation, and I didn’t take pre-calculus,” Stewart said. “I’m working on it,” he told NASCAR.com. “Chad isn’t getting the results he deserves.”
Earlier this week, GoDaddy announced that it won’t be returning as the sponsor of Patrick’s car after this season. Patrick’s contract with Stewart-Haas Racing after this season. Is Stewart worried about finding a sponsor for Patrick?
“Are you kidding me? She’s the most marketable driver in the sport,” Stewart told NASCAR.com. “And as for her driving, I’ve never been more proud of her.”