Stewart, Gibbs, Zipadelli and Home Depot comment regarding Brickyard 400 incident and subsequent resolutions. HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., (Aug. 8, 2002) - Following the Aug. 4 Brickyard 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway,...
Stewart, Gibbs, Zipadelli and Home Depot comment regarding Brickyard 400 incident and subsequent resolutions.
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., (Aug. 8, 2002) - Following the Aug. 4 Brickyard 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Home Depot Pontiac driver Tony Stewart was involved in an incident with freelance photographer Gary Mook.
As a result, sponsor Home Depot has fined Stewart $50,000 for his actions and placed him on probation for the remainder of the 2002 season. NASCAR has also levied a $10,000 fine and probation against Stewart for the same incident. The $50,000 will go to charity.
Stewart is making arrangements to speak to Mr. Mook to offer his apology. In addition, Stewart has initiated steps to seek help with anger management.
The following are quotes from Stewart, Joe Gibbs, Greg Zipadelli and Home Depot.
TONY STEWART, driver of the #20 Home Depot Pontiac
"This was my heart attack, my wake-up call. There is no excuse for what I've done. I'm very sorry, and I don't really expect anyone to forgive me.
"Meeting with Mr. Mook is now my first priority. He didn't deserve any of this, and my apology to him needs to come face-to-face, as soon as possible.
"I know I have a problem with keeping my emotions in check. After all of this, I've felt as low as I've ever felt. But it's probably exactly what I needed to make me seek help. A hard fall like this will tend to jar you back to reality. I'm looking forward to making myself better better as a person and better in dealing with the things life sends your way - the good and the bad."
JOE GIBBS, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing
"Tony has made a commitment to us and we've made a commitment to him. He knows he needs help in controlling his emotions and we're going to do all we can to help and support him. All of our resources, as well as the resources of Home Depot, have been made available to Tony. He has been an integral part of this race team for almost five years now, and we want him to be an integral part of our organization for many years to come. We're confident incidents such as this one are in the past and won't be repeated in the future."
GREG ZIPADELLI, crew chief on the #20 Home Depot Pontiac
"This has been a tough experience for all of us, but I'm also a firm believer that all of this can only make us better. Tony has made that first step, admitting he has a problem and needs help, and we're going to do all we can to support him. I'm going to be there as a friend, and we're all going to make this work. No one is ever alone on this race team. It's a pretty tight-knit group that has always rallied and endured the tough times. Tony knows that.
"For us, the best medicine is racing, and there's a lot of racing left. Tony is going to do what he needs to do off the track and we're going to do everything we need to do on the track. We're all in this together, and we're going to come out of it together, too."
HUGH MISKEL, director of sales promotion for The Home Depot
"We support Tony Stewart and Joe Gibbs Racing and we will help provide any and all resources needed to see this situation through. We have always viewed our sponsorship with Joe Gibbs Racing and our relationship with Tony Stewart as a partnership, and despite the events of the past week, those beliefs have not changed. We remain committed to Tony Stewart and Joe Gibbs Racing."