Dover Del., — It was not the start to Sunday’s Fedex 400 that Tony Stewart wanted, but the reigning Sprint Cup champion was in the garage on lap nine after a multi-car crash at Dover International Speedway.
“It’s just a crappy weekend,” said Stewart. “You get back there with some of them guys and you’ve just got to be more patient.”
“As far back as we started I didn’t really have the luxury to be as patient as I would have like to have been,” Stewart added. “Just was under a guy and he came down.”
The crash was instigated by slight contact between Stewart and Landon Cassill, who was trying to get back down to the bottom. Cassill said the contact was so slight it was barely felt.
“I actually didn’t feel him touch me,” Cassill said. “Tony is one of the most patient drivers, especially this point in the race.”
Stewart said they were at the wrong place at the wrong time, but Regan Smith took responsibility for the incident.
“I got into the back of the No. 14 and started the whole thing,” said Smith. “Somehow they got checked up in front of me. I just didn’t have time to get slowed up with it.”
“I hate that there are so many wrecked race cars here,” Smith added.
Stewart said it was not Smith’s fault.
“He was right behind us and he didn’t have anywhere to go either,” said Stewart. “Just not a real good deal at the beginning of the race like this.”
The 12-car crash also collected Casey Mears, Reed Sorenson, Dave Blaney, Steven Leicht, David Gilliland, Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Speed, Travis Kvapil, and Michael McDowell.
“I got rammed from behind and I think the No. 38 (David Gilliland) just never slowed down and it killed our car and that’s it,” said Montoya, who was concerned about getting back on track for points.
“We’re going to try to at least get out and make some laps to score some points ahead of the go-or-go-homers,” Montoya said.
Stewart was able to return to the track to finish 25th, and gained one position (eighth) Sprint Cup points standings.