HAMPTON, Ga. – Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch are fully in support of their boss, Tony Stewart, being back in a race car this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“It’s going to be great to have our boss and teammate in the field,” Busch told host Claire B. Lang Thursday night on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s Dialed In. “To have him and the heavy hearts that’s been around Stewart Haas Racing the last few weeks, back at the track and focused on making laps, that’s the best medicine for everybody.
“… His name is on the company’s logo. He’s our leader and it’s great to have him back in the car.
While Busch and other teammate Kevin Harvick did not hear from Stewart during his three-week seclusion and absence from NASCAR, Patrick was one of the few that had a brief communication with Stewart.
“I heard from him last weekend, telling me good luck and it was good to hear from him,” Patrick said Friday morning. “It’ll be good to have him back. Obviously, he is the namesake to our team name. We’ll be all on board to help him with whatever he needs, but he’s Tony Stewart, so I’m sure he’ll be fine.
“Obviously with it being such a tragic accident, it’s something to work through.”
Busch compared some of the emotions Stewart is going through as to military veterans experiencing post-traumatic syndrome. Busch works extensively with veterans during his non-racing time.
But Busch said having Stewart back at the track will be a boost of support for the overall organization. He also addressed the possibility that Stewart is still eligible to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
“We’re just trying to get the staff back to normalcy this weekend,” Stewart said. “I’m glad it’s happening and we’re able to move forward. With the Chase around the corner, it’s great for Harvick’s team, my team and Danica still has a chance.
“And Tony, I don’t know how it’s all going to shake out with the rule of not qualifying and being eligible, but sometimes you just have to go out there and take the medicine. I’m glad that Tony has decided that it’s time to get back in the car. He’s the only one who could have made that choice.”
Added Patrick, “Trying to feel something normal again probably might feel good to him. But again, it was a tragic accident and there’s no timeline when you work through that.”
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