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Filed under: 400: Tony Stewart says sprint car wreck ‘no big deal’

Tony Stewart calls talk he should quit racing sprint cars “annoying” in spite of a wreck Monday that saw him flip five times.

Will Schneekloth

In the aftermath of a crash in a non-NASCAR sanctioned race that saw him flip five times, Tony Stewart has a suggestion for those who think he should curtail his extracurricular racing activities.

"You guys need to watch more sprint car videos and stuff," Stewart said Friday at Pocono Raceway. "It was not a big deal. It's starting to get annoying this week about that so that was just an average sprint car wreck.

"When they wreck they get upside down like that. ... I guarantee you there were 15-20 guys across the country that flipped just like that this weekend and were just fine just like we were."

The crash occurred Monday as Stewart was battling for the lead in a dirt sprint car race at Ohsweken Speedway in Canada. And it was the second time in three weeks he had been involved in a high-profile accident competing in a sprint car. He was the catalyst for a wreck July 16 that injured a 19-year-old female driver at a dirt track in New York.

This follows the death of Stewart's close friend and former NASCAR driver Jason Leffler, who was killed when his sprint car suffered a mechanical failure in a June race at Bridgeport (N.J.) Speedway. The broken part caused Leffler's car to veer into wall where it began tumbling down the frontstretch.

But despite the threat of injury, the three-time Cup champion has no plans to discontinue his love of running sprint cars. He maintains the risk is minimal as his own team prepares the cars and comes equipped with the necessary safety features.

The one downside from Monday's incident is the damage to his car will prevent Stewart from competing in a pair of races this weekend. This has left him in an unusual predicament.

"That was the worst part of the week was when I was told that I wasn't going to be allowed to race this weekend because we only had one new car left," Stewart said. "...I don't know what I'm going to do for a whole weekend off now. It's going to be a lazy schedule now."