Tony Stewart: No regrets over switching crew chiefs

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart expects to have a better empathy with new crew chief Steve Addington than that he had with Darian Grubb for the past three years

Tony Stewart: No regrets over switching crew chiefs

Earlier this week Stewart Haas Racing announced the hiring of former Penske crew chief Steve Addington to replace Grubb, who went on to win the title this year despite having already been told during the Chase that he would not return in the position with Stewart next year.

While admitting his team was faced with an awkward situation while trying to contend for the title during the play-off, Stewart now expects the transition with Addington to go smoothly as defending champion in 2012.

Their recent talks and their previous experiences from working under the same roof in the past make the Sprint Cup champion confident in his decision.

"I had been around Steve at Joe Gibbs Racing, and I felt like he always did a good job over there," Stewart said. "When we made the decision we were going to make a change and we looked at a list of guys that we thought were legitimate candidates for it, that came into play a lot.

"I just think our approach, our mindset as far as sitting down and talking to him about what his thoughts are, how he thinks about a race weekend, and mine are a lot more similar than Darian's and mine were.

"It's kind of the weirdest scenario because you just don't see things happen like we did at the end of the year, but the decision was actually made before the Chase started."

Stewart believes that having things clear with Grubb as far as their future together, relieved some of the pressure during the Chase. In fact, after Grubb was informed of the decision, Stewart went on to win three more races during the play-off, which were crucial to his championship bid.

"When I sat down with Darian and we had the talk and I told him we were going to make a change at the end of the season, the one thing that I wanted him to understand is I didn't want him to leave right away," Stewart said. "I wanted to finish out the year with him.

"I knew that at that point he was going to do whatever he wanted to do. I told him we started this together and I wanted to finish this year together and I will give you 100 per cent and I hope you will me and we will see what we can get before it's over with."

He added: "It just seemed like it took a lot of pressure at that point. It was somewhat of a coming to Jesus meeting for both of us. It seemed like Darian's demeanor calmed down after that and it was kind of business as usual.

"The longer this thing went into the Chase, the more we were just determined - we were standing behind each other 100 per cent until this thing was over with and we would take what we could get. The good news is we're going to be at the head table on Friday, and we're going to be together and we're going to be able to celebrate our three years together with a championship."

While Stewart has already teamed up with Addington, it remains to be seen where Grubb will end up in 2012.

shares
comments
Jeff Burton gets new crew chief for 2011
Previous article

Jeff Burton gets new crew chief for 2011

Next article

Penske parts company with Kurt Busch

Penske parts company with Kurt Busch
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Plus

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Plus

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Plus

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his team-mate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Plus

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival Plus

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Plus

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2021 NASCAR Cup title comes straight from the Hollywood blockbuster scripts. While Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons

NASCAR
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021