Stewart Meets With Goodyear
March 14, 2008 | 5:07 P.M. EST
“I’m glad the weather gave us a break in the schedule that allowed us to meet this afternoon, and I appreciate Stu taking the time to meet with me. We’re hoping that Goodyear will now work with us a little better on the racing side of things and rely on our input a little more, because we are the ones driving the cars. It was a good meeting, but at the end of the day, it’s up to Goodyear to make it right. If having this meeting helps to make things better down the road, then this meeting was a success.
“My comments last week (following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway) were made in frustration and made to get Goodyear’s attention. But what I overlooked when I made those comments was that they affected people who had nothing to do with the racing program. I want to apologize to the people who work in the factories and the union workers at Goodyear. We realize that they’re working hard just like everybody else, and we realize that Goodyear as a whole works hard too. But our comments last week were not meant to offend those people, because they’re not the ones making the decisions about the racing tires we use here at the track.
“A lot of the people that Goodyear brings to the track aren’t necessarily engineers and they don’t make the decisions on what compounds and constructions (of tires) that we’ll race on, but they’re the people who are here as early as the teams are and leave as late as the teams do because they’re here mounting and dismounting tires and unloading and loading trucks. A lot of those people have become friends over the years, and that’s another group of people we didn’t mean to offend with our comments. Our comments were strong to get somebody’s attention high up in corporate at Goodyear. It wasn’t meant to offend anyone else.”
“I was very pleased with the meeting that I had with Tony. It was an excellent meeting. It was constructive. It was extremely worthwhile to sit down and have a discussion with him. Tony was able to express his concerns and I listened to his concerns. I was able to explain our process, and we both talked about how moving forward, we can improve the process of developing tires for NASCAR Sprint Cup racing together.”