For the first time since the August crash that killed Kevin Ward Jr., Tony Stewart held a press conference where he discussed how often he thinks about the incident, how he felt during his first race back and whether he ever considered walking away from the sport he loves.
Stewart on how often he thinks about that night:
“I wish I could say it was once a day, but it’s not; I think about it a lot every day,” he said. “It’s not something that goes away. It will never go away. It’s always going to be part of my life the rest of my life.”
Stewart on his first race back in Atlanta:
“It was very overwhelming. I’m glad I had sunglasses on. It was probably the most flattering and humbling part of my career, to walk out there and have that kind of reception.
“Riding around in the back of the pickup truck and seeing people against the fence that were cheering for us and they had Jeff Gordon shirts on and Carl Edwards shirts and Matt Kenseth shirts. Didn’t matter what they had on, it really showed the support.”
Stewart on if he considered retirement:
“This is what I’ve done all my life. This is what I’ve done for 36 years, and I wouldn’t change anything about it. I love driving race cars. I think it might change right now as far as how much of it and what I do, but there was never a thought in my head about stopping. That would take the life out of me.”
Ward Jr’s death will forever stain Stewart’s illustrious career, but it won’t define it.
H/T: USA Today Sports