Tony Stewart spoke with the media at Atlanta Motor Speedway today.
Tony Stewart gave a statement at the media center Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway at his first race weekend back in the car after the accident at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.
“This has been one of the toughest tragedies I’ve ever had to deal with both professionally and personally, and this is something that will definitely affect my life forever. This is a sadness and a pain that I hope no one ever has to experience in their life,” Stewart said as he opened his statement in the media center.
Stewart looked very emotional at the podium in the media center. He wasn’t the same, confident driver we'come to known, but there was good reason behind it, given the extenuating circumstances of the past few weeks.
Careful with his words
The room, packed to the brim with people, was dead silent as Stewart made his way to the podium. No one knew what to expect and the tension was palpable.
He was very reserved when speaking, with a despondent undertone in everything he said. You could sense the pain he's been going through. His delivery was slow and deliberate, and for good reason. Making sure he delivered this statement properly was of top priority, especially given the delicateness of the situation.
“I’ve taken the last couple weeks off out of respect for Kevin and his family, and also to cope with the accident in my own way. It’s given me the time to think about life and how easy it is to take it for granted,” Stewart went on to say.
His tone was quiet and filled with emotion. You could notice he struggled to maintain control of his emotions during this difficult time. He looked tired and that iconic Stewart grin was never present.
Stewart went on to say that he missed being back in the car and around his team once again. Whether or not he’ll be able to perform at the level he expects of himself, however, will be seen by all Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway.