Tony Stewart: Déjà Vu All Over Again with Practice Crash

Mary Jo BuchananSenior Writer IJune 26, 2009

LOUDON, NH - JUNE 26:  Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on June 26, 2009 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Just like in Pocono a few short weeks ago, Tony Stewart wrecked in his first practice round today at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. 

Yet again, Stewart will be forced to use a backup car for Sunday's LENOX Industrial Tools 301.

This time, however, there was a difference. After his practice crash at Pocono Raceway, Stewart was jovial and upbeat. 

Here in cloudy New Hampshire, Stewart's mood matched the weather: Dark and stormy.

"I just got loose," said Stewart.  "Goodyear thought it might have been a tire problem, but I just ran out of race track."

Stewart advised that he had a "great deal of confidence" in his backup car, but he admitted being upset about putting his team through "inspection and all the templates yet again after going through it all this morning."

As they try to get the backup car into practice and full-race mode, "[The crew and himself] will have to get cooperation from the weather," said Stewart.

When asked how he will cope with a "grippier" race track, Stewart replied simply, "We will just have to go faster." 

From that question on, Stewart seemed to get more and more annoyed.

When asked if he would have to go to the back of the field, Stewart sarcastically replied that the media members needed to revisit the NASCAR rule book. 

"No, that does not mean I will go to the back," a testy Stewart said.  "You can go to a back up car as long as you run the same engine and you do it before qualifying, you don't have to got to the rear of the field as long as you stay with the primary engine."

As Stewart finished up his press obligations, the skies opened at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The storm that had been threatening had finally let loose and the weather outside was as gloomy as Stewart when he made his exit from the media center.